Anorexia Nervosa A lot of people including men not just women often dream about having the perfect body. Some may work hard for it and others may think they cannot achieve that dream. In our society, we seem to make body image appear to be almost one of the most important things. Young girls less then thirteen years of age can start to see themselves as being 'fat' even if they are thin.

In fashion magazines for instance, you will hardly ever see pictures of overweight or slightly overweight people. They are filled with runway models who are so skinny it looks as if they are sick with a disease or are cracked out on drugs. How can people think that looking that way is attractive? It's so disgustingly gross to see models like that when they look emaciated at times. They call themselves 'models.' Who would want to model themselves after someone who looked like that? Although, it is sad to say that some people actually go as far as starving themselves to look like what they think is perfect. Anorexia nervosa is an illness that most commonly happens with teenage girls.

At times even teenage boys and adults can struggle with anorexia. Anorexia causes people to be obsessed with food and being thin. Often at times, people with anorexia have emotional problems and use food and weight to try to deal with their problems with a sense of control. 'Ninety percent of all anorexics are women' (The National Women's Health Information Center Pg. 1 of 4). There is no exact cause of anorexia.

For some, they feel that they are not happy and think that being thin Butler 2 would make them a lot happier and successful. Anorexia can sometimes come from problems in relationships or bad experiences from early childhood. People with anorexia are perfectionists. They need everything to be perfect in their lives and if not, then they blame themselves if their lives are not perfect. Along with having anorexia, there are many problems caused by it as well. A lot of it include very harsh side effects.

Mood swings are a typical and women with anorexia normally stop having their menstrual period which is called amenorrhea. The National Institute of Mental Health states that one in ten cases of anorexia ends in death from immense starvation, suicide or medical complications that include heart attacks or kidney failure. More problems that do harm physically are anemia, heart palpitations, bone loss, tooth decay and inflammation of the esophagus. Many people may think that anorexics don't think about food or are not hungry but that's what anorexics always think about. The feeling of being hungry but not actually eating makes them feel they have control over themselves and their lives. It makes people feel they have accomplished something that being losing weight.

After a certain amount of time has passed, people with anorexia should begin to show some warning signs. The warning signs include a frequent amount of exercising, the feeling of being cold all the time, loss of scalp hair, an increase growth of body hair, feelings of being fat when the person is too thin, irregular periods or none at all, refusal to eat and a fear of gaining weight. When people with anorexia are told they need to seek treatment, they are usually in denial and are convinced there is nothing wrong with them. 'Anorexia is a mental problem manifested in a physical form. Treatment for any eating disorder should include both a mental Butler 3 health professional as well as a primary health care physician' (The National Women's Health Information Center pg. 2 of 4).

Patients who are in the very early stages of anorexia could possibly be treated successfully instead of having to be treated in a hospital. In order for the patients to be treated, they need to want to be helped and must have support from their friends and family. 'People with more serious anorexia need care in the hospital, usually in a special unit for people with anorexia and bulimia. Treatment involves more than changing the person's eating habits' (American Academy of Family Physicians pg.

2 of 3). When anorexic patients are seeking treatment they need counseling as well. This can take more then year because they need to work on their self esteem and what is causing their eating problems. A lot of patients take anti-depressants although it sometimes doesn't work as well for anorexic patients.

There are also support groups that anorexics go to so they can discuss their fears and help each other recover from their illness. People with anorexia need full on support from their friends and family as well. Friends and family need to show love for the person with the illness. A lot of times, people with anorexia will beg and lie so they don't have to eat.

They feel if they will give up the control they have from gaining weight. Friends and family need to be strong when dealing with a person who is suffering from anorexia. They cannot let the person talk them into believing there is nothing wrong or let the person convince them that they don't need to eat for the time being. Family and friends need to be there for that person and shouldn't get angry at them. Being anorexic is an illness and needs professional help because it cannot be controlled by willpower. Word count: 917.