Have you seen a graded colour wheel? It is one of the things in art, where you take a colour and mix another to it in little quantities to see all the shades in between two extremes. At one end it becomes opaque and on the other, it almost turns black. I think much in life can be seen in the same way. Take food, for example, if you are not careful with it then at one end you risk going obese and on the other Anorexic.
Anorexia nervosa or simply Anorexia is an eating disorder where the person suffering ignores food in order to stay thin. The result is an extremely thin person much underweight than their ideal weight. This is common knowledge, but this condition is not just an eating disorder but also a psychological problem. The whole thing starts with a distorted body image where the person has an immense fear of getting fat. Even when they are thin, they may still perceive themselves or somebody parts as fat. Which leads them to starve themselves even when hungry and/or excessive workouts. Some even resort to purging themselves to get rid of calories by inducing vomiting, and they can take it up few notches by only eating certain categories of food which would help them avoid calories and fat.
This as you can understand results in, yes thin bodies but also tons of health problems like
- irregular heartbeats
- dehydration, deficiencies
- anxiety, dizziness
- low blood pressure
- reduced immunity
- depression and so on.
With so much pressure on appearance these days, adolescents especially girl/women tend to be more affected by it. Even though there is no age, it can impact anyone men and women, at any stage of life. In India alone, we have a million or more cases each year.
Often people can self-diagnose this condition, but some people pose a problem realising it. So, if you observe symptoms like:
- Refusing and skipping meals
- Exercising excessively
- Too much weight loss
- Overly concerned about being fat while being thin
- Flat mood
It can be time to have a chat with them and ask them to seek medical help. there are no defined causes behind anorexia, but all biological, psychological and social factors can be held responsible for triggering this abnormal behaviour.
The BMI (less than 17.5) of a person can hint towards anorexia in a person. A doctor may still conduct a few blood tests and others to eliminate any other medical condition before ascertaining it as anorexia. Also, a psychologist will check a person against the criteria provided in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – V).
The treatment mostly contains behavioural therapy correcting the body image and improving self-worth. Next step will be to improve food habits, where a dietician may rescue you. In the case of anorexia leading to any other complication then the treatment of that condition will be prioritized. Left uncheck, anorexia can be lifelong and cut short the lifespan, by putting undue pressure on body organs.
Lastly, I would like to say that our focus should not be thin bodies, but healthy bodies. I hope you can find the right shade of food in your life wheel for your picture to be complete and beautiful, just like you are.