The term “anorexia nervosa” translates from Greek to mean “loss of appetite”. However, those with anorexia are generally living with constant hunger while ignoring or not being aware of the hunger cues. As our bodies need nourishment to live, the lack of adequate nutritional intake can be very dangerous. Anorexia is often characterized by a constant fear of weight gain despite being at a low body weight or having medical consequences.
Signs of anorexia nervosa can include:
- A continuously more restrictive diet
- A diet that interferes with other activities, such as eating at a restaurant with friends
- Constant monitoring of food intake
- Rituals around eating (eating foods in a certain order, cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, eating very slowly)
- Finding reasons not to eat with other people
- Recently losing a significant amount of weight, even if not underweight, with no medical reason
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Trouble seeing yourself the way others see you.
Medical signs can include:
- Easily Cold
- Brittle Nails
- Hair Loss
- Constant Fatigue.
If you or someone you care about is exhibiting some of these symptoms, it is important that the person is evaluated as soon as possible. After an evaluation, the person will likely be recommended to build a treatment team, consisting of a physician, a therapist, and a dietitian. For many, the treatment team can also include family members or close friends. Many family members or friends of those with eating disorders may also benefit from meeting with a therapist for support.
I provide an initial assessment, individual therapy, and sometimes family therapy for those with anorexia nervosa. I work with people who may not be sure they want to change, with people who are actively making changes for recovery, and those who are actively in recovery. I also provide therapy to those who love someone with anorexia, including helping the loved one learn to address the eating disorder and providing support while the person with the eating disorder is on the journey to recovery.