Anorexia Nervosa (AN)

Anorexia Nervosa (AN)

Anorexia Nervosa, commonly referred to as AN, is an eating disorder in which a person severely limits his or her food intake and/or exercises excessively in order to lose weight. It is a serious mental health disorder that can have a long-term and often deadly impact on a person’s physical and mental well-being.

People with Anorexia Nervosa often become extremely thin and malnourished, and suffer from a host of physical and psychological health problems. These issues can include, but are not limited to:

  • Extreme weight loss
  • Slowed heart rate and critical low blood pressure
  • Depression and anxiety disorders
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviors
  • Damage to vital organs and bones

Anorexia is typically caused by a combination of psychological, emotional, and environmental factors. The most common psychological triggers for Anorexia are over addiction to perfectionism and an extreme fear of gaining weight. Social pressures, such as an emphasis on thinness in popular culture or an overly critical family environment, may also contribute to a person’s risk of developing Anorexia.

Those with Anorexia are often unable to recognize the seriousness of their condition and may be in denial about how little they eat and how much they exercise. Treatment for Anorexia usually involves long-term psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and medical care. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed to help manage the psychological symptoms associated with Anorexia.