Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental health condition. It’s an eating disorder where an individual keeps their weight as low as possible to the detriment of their physical health. Individuals suffering from anorexia do this by restricting their food intake, making themselves vomit and through excessive exercising.
The main underlying fear is about body shape and becoming fat which can often be a consequence of the person having a distorted image of themselves and a belief that they are fat even when they are not. Anorexia mostly affects girls and women though more recently it has started to be also common in boys and men.
Individuals with anorexia often hide their behaviour from loved ones. Common symptoms of anorexia include:
- Missing meals, eating very little or avoiding certain types of food
- Obsessively counting calories in food
- Leaving the table immediately after eating in order to vomit
- Taking laxatives and appetite suppressants
- Physical problems such as feeling lightheaded or dizzy, hair loss or dry skin
- Repeated weighing and checking one’s body in the mirror
Individuals suffering from anorexia might also suffer from a range of other emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression and self harm.
Treatment for anorexia
Treatment for anorexia involves psychiatric management, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and cognitive analytic therapy (CAT). Due to the complexity of the disorder it is often recommended that treatment needs to be multi-disciplinary attending to the individual’s mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The team at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic has considerable experience of working with eating disorders. Individuals with anorexia can access psychiatric and psychological treatment. We also are likely to work closely with a nutritionist or dietician and your GP or a private psychiatrist at the practice.
If you are suffering from anorexia try to speak to your GP about it. If you would like an appointment at the clinic click on the link below.