There are quite a few misunderstandings and prejudices about the anorexia nervosa disease. In this article, we explain step by step what anorexia nervosa is.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa (often abbreviated to anorexia) means that you do not give in to your hunger and that you try to suppress this feeling of hunger all day long. You are busy eating and losing weight all day long, all the way to the obsessive. You have set yourself on a strict diet, in which you often eat the same things on a day-by-day basis. When you suffer from anorexia, you try to hide your eating behavior from people in your area. You deny to both yourself and your environment that you have eating problems.

What are the dangers of anorexia?

Precisely because someone who has anorexia denies that he or she has a problem and tries to hide his or her behavior, this is a dangerous disease. Someone can have this disease for years without anyone noticing. Many physical complaints can occur due to malnutrition and weight loss:

  • Disruption of the menstrual cycle
  • Deteriorated feeling of well-being (tired, listless, depressed)
  • Compulsory and anxiety disorders
  • Bad teeth and hair
  • Downy coat in, for example, face and chest due to low body temperature
  • Breakdown of muscle tissue
  • Dehydration
  • Sleep problems
  • Kidney and liver damage, arrhythmias and cardiac arrest

Anorexia is a psychiatric illness and has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses. 5 to 10% of anorexia patients die.

What are the causes of anorexia?

There are many causes of anorexia. They are often subdivided into biological factors (such as genetic causes), cultural factors (such as the prevailing slenderness ideal), family factors (such as a bad atmosphere within the family) and psychological factors (such as a negative self-image).

How is anorexia treated?

Anorexia is a psychiatric illness that requires a long time to heal. Some people don’t even heal at all. About 45% of anorexia patients heal completely, 35% partially and 20% do not heal. There are many different treatment methods for anorexia. Examples are cognitive behavioral therapy, nutrition management, and interpersonal psychotherapy.

Another wise lesson is that I should not hang on the couch, but simply do things. And then not the 10 things that are all on my todo list, but just 1 thing. And that works. But not only that, it also gives a satisfied and satisfied feeling. Just nice in the kitchen to make a soup or cake, but still go to work out or go to the movies. Do the things that I like to do. Someday I hope to weigh around 60 kilograms again. Someday… because if you are an emotion-eater then (permanent) losing weight is easier said than done.