Anorexia nervosa: what is this disease and is it treatable

Anorexia nervosa is a mental disorder in which patients deliberately limit their diet in quantity and quality by submitting to a certain obsession. Most often this is done to lose weight, but other motives are also possible. In this article, we will look at what anorexia nervosa is, what causes it and what symptoms may indicate the development of this disease. We will also discuss how to treat anorexia nervosa and whether it is possible to get rid of it completely.

What is anorexia

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a mental disorder that is often associated with the desire to lose weight. However, in fact, the causes of this disorder are much more complex and varied. Patients deliberately limit their diet in an effort to control their weight and body shape. They may refuse to eat, experience guilt after eating, engage in excessive physical activity, and take laxatives and diuretics.

The clarification “nervous” is a clinical definition of the etiology of the disease, because the aversion to food can also be caused by purely physiological reasons – hormonal disorders, cancer, CNS lesions, and so on.


The main reason for HA is a certain obsession that seizes human consciousness and becomes the dominant motivational factor that crowds out all the other desires, goals and intentions. Certain psychological or social factors contribute to the emergence of this obsession:

– The desire to get rid of an inferiority complex or low self-esteem by improving appearance (making the figure slimmer).
– The somatic consequence of experiencing neuropsychological stress or neglected clinical depression.
– Fixation on the cultivated in certain circles of society standards of beauty (the thinner, the more attractive).
– Reaction to an unfavorable family environment (the father is a violent alcoholic).
– Development of obesophobia (fear of being overweight) on the background of a negative experience of obesity among close relatives or friends.
– Somewhat less frequently, HA arises as a result of enthusiasm for therapeutic fasting methods practiced to treat a specific disease or for “general recovery”.

Early symptoms

Diagnosing anorexia in its late stages, when a person resembles a skin-tight skeleton, is not very difficult – just to make sure that excessive weight loss is not the cause of some other disease. Of much greater value are the early symptoms of anorexia, which allow treatment to begin before vital organs and systems become impaired due to physical exhaustion.

The primary signs of anorexia include:

– A tendency to avoid or refuse to eat.
– Restricting the diet and controlling the amount of calories consumed.
– Constant thinking about losing weight.
– Feelings of guilt after eating.
– Excessive physical activity.
– Disruption of the menstrual cycle in women.


Treatment of anorexia nervosa is a complex process that can take a long time. It must be treated in a comprehensive way, including psychotherapy, medication, and nutritional support.

One of the key treatments is psychotherapy, which helps patients change their attitudes about food and their bodies. In addition, antidepressants may be used, as well as medications to improve digestion and metabolism.

It is important to understand that treating HA is a long process that requires patience and persistence. However, with the right approach and skilled professionals, patients can completely get rid of this disease.

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