Anorexia is a disease that takes the lives of young girls. In pursuit of glossy “beauty standards”, they exhaust themselves with diets and become anorexic. How to recognize the disease in time, why it is dangerous, and what happened to those who faced the problem face to face.
- What is anorexia
- Stage and degree of anorexia
- Psychological causes of anorexia
- Physiological causes of anorexia
- When to see a doctor
- Stories of anorexic girls
- Anastasia Filatova, 24 years old.
- Milana Zagorodneva, 19 years old.
- Psychologist’s advice for anorexia
- Possible complications
- Video about becoming anorexic
What is anorexia
Anorexia is a condition to which a neuropsychic disorder leads. It manifests itself as a phobia, fear of gaining extra pounds. The presence of this ailment is characterized by a critically low weight, in relation to the height of the person.
To determine the normal weight, there is a special formula. The result of the calculation is called the body mass index. In patients with anorexia, it does not exceed 17 units. BMI calculation formula: I = m / h * 2, where m is the weight of a person, h is height.
|Less than 18||Mass deficit|
|18.5 to 25||Normal weight|
|25.5 to 29.9||Overweight|
|30 to 34||Obesity 1 degree|
|34.5 to 39.9||Obesity 2 degrees|
|40 and more||Obesity 3 degrees|
In addition to underweight, patients lack appetite, they refuse to eat. This occurs as a result of long-term medications for weight loss, starvation, artificially induced vomiting after eating. People suffering from depression, and also lose the ability to objectively assess their condition. They constantly think that they have not lost enough weight.
Mostly young girls become anorexic, this fact is confirmed by scientific studies. Teenage girls strive to become like ladies from the covers of glossy magazines. Young people want to achieve quick results and use the most radical methods in the fight against excess weight. Improper diet or starvation causes serious damage to health.
If the process of losing weight is delayed, then irreversible processes begin in the body. Psychotherapists who treat this disease have provided statistics showing that about 18000 people die annually from anorexia worldwide. 97% are women. Male anorexia is quite rare.
Stage and degree of anorexia
The disease proceeds in 4 stages:
- Dysmorphomanic . At this stage, the disease is difficult to identify. The dysmorphomanic stage often develops in adolescents. Girls want to lose weight quickly and lose a few pounds at once. They are unhappy with the reflection in the mirror, and go on diets with strict restrictions. Their goal: to lose weight so that the clavicles, spine and pelvic bones become visible. Any remark about the appearance is perceived as an insult, there is a desire to lose weight yet.
- Anorectic . At this stage, a painful desire to change appearance appears painfully. Body weight is reduced by half, the desire to stop and stop losing weight is not observed. Girls who are in this degree of anorexia are confident that their weight in the aisles of the norm, despite bulging bones. They continue to exhaust themselves with hunger strikes, severe restrictions on food and overly active training.
- Cachectic . The patient’s physical activity decreases. The girl becomes weak and sleepy. She can no longer continue playing sports, because the muscles at this stage begin to atrophy. Those who are ill cannot warm themselves; they are constantly cold. The skin becomes dry and pale, blood does not circulate as expected. Patients are not happy with their appearance, they still think that they are overweight. This degree of anorexia is fatal. Hospitalization and forced treatment are necessary, since the patient does not seek help. He believes that everything is in order with him and continues to refuse food.
- Reduction . The last stage, which occurs after treatment. When the patient gains weight in the clinic, his vital organs begin to function correctly, the person is discharged. According to the observations of doctors, in 90% of cases, anorexic women again try to lose weight. It seems to them that they were fed to incredible sizes, made them fat, and they urgently need to get rid of fat. They again resort to radical methods of dealing with extra pounds. They put enemas, cause vomiting, drink pills and starve. So that the reduction does not occur, psychotherapists strongly advise the patient’s relatives to monitor his behavior, food intake, and also appoints weekly meetings with the patient for conversations and adjusting his behavior.
Anorexic girls are mostly teenage girls. In 40% of cases, parents do not notice the strange behavior of their daughters immediately. Often they attribute everything to a particular transitional age. Thus, the first 2 stages of the disease can be skipped. After the onset of stage 3, treatment is much more difficult, so it is important to pay attention to any oddities in the behavior of the child.
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Psychological causes of anorexia
Types of psychological causes that contribute to the development of the disease:
- constant stress;
- low self-esteem;
- feeling of loneliness;
- strong desire to lose weight;
This kind of anorexia is called neuropsychic. In addition to the reasons listed above, a person can get sick if he grew up in a dysfunctional family, where he was constantly pointed out to defects in appearance. Children aged 12 to 17 years are affected by the desire to imitate models, heroines of films or “beauty standards” from the Internet.
Physiological causes of anorexia
Not only those girls who have mental disorders become anorexic.
There are a number of physiological reasons for the development of this disease:
- Presence of factors irritating the brain center. For example, severe pain that dulls or completely prevents a feeling of hunger. This type of disease is called neurodynamic anorexia.
- The use of drugs for weight loss, blocking the feeling of hunger completely, or the use of other drugs that have such a side effect. This kind of disease is called medicinal.
- Feeling of hunger manifests itself only at night, in a dream. In the afternoon, when a person is awake, he does not feel hunger. This is a mental painful anorexia.
- The absence of hunger due to cancer or hormonal disruption is called primary anorexia.
Psychotherapists noted that in 50% of cases, the professional activity of patients requires maintaining a constant body weight or drastic changes. For example, actresses, models, ballerinas.
When to see a doctor
The sooner the first symptoms are detected, the easier and faster the treatment will be. Patients who begin to be treated at the first or second stage of anorexia have the most optimistic prognoses. After stage 3 of the disease, the probability of relapse is 80%.
How is anorexia nervosa diagnosed:
- A person does not have other serious diseases that contribute to a sharp weight loss (parasites, oncology, gastrointestinal tract disorders).
- The presence of bulimia, the menstrual disorder in girls or its absence, and a decrease in the pulse rate are determined.
- Rapid weight loss, more than 25% of the total weight, the decline of which continues.
- Man’s inability to give an objective assessment of his appearance.
If these symptoms are observed, then you should contact the following specialists:
Severely ill patients are forcibly sent for treatment to a hospital, where medications and psychiatric treatment are prescribed. Doctors monitor the patient’s nutrition, gradually increasing calorie content and serving sizes.
The threat to life recedes when weight loss stops and the general condition improves. Next, a series of sessions is held with a psychologist, whose work is aimed at raising the patient’s self-esteem and distracting him from his own appearance.
Stories of anorexic girls
About 20% of women and young girls who have set themselves the goal of becoming anorexic are: reduce weight to “ideal parameters”. Many of them simply can not stop the process of losing weight. Due to the fact that they ignore hunger, in the future this feeling ceases to arise at all.
They feel uncomfortable even during scanty meals. Below are a couple of detailed stories of women who were able to overcome this ailment.
Anastasia Filatova, 24 years old.
Nastya was always small, at 15 she grew up to 5’2 foot, and growth stopped. She weighed 106 pounds, ate everything she wanted and did not consider herself full.
Anastasia became interested in Japanese anime cartoons. She liked the image of the cartoon characters of girls so much that she decided to adopt their style of clothes, hairstyles and makeup.
Nastya began to select non-standard images for herself, to which her classmates and familiar guys reacted negatively.
They began to joke about her appearance, because of this the girl did not have friends. Out of support, Nastya was left with only her mother, who raised her alone.
She believed that this is a common teenage behavior, everyone at this age wants to be different from others.
Once, during a joint walk in the park, my mother photographed Nastya in her unusual outfit.
When the girl looked at the photo, it seemed to her that she had recovered. Somehow the skirt was not sitting right, the hips seemed too wide, and white knee-highs slightly cut into the leg with an elastic band. Then Nastya decided – to urgently need to lose weight! She refused to eat meat, sweets, flour.
She reduced portions to palm size and ate only 2 times a day. After a week, the weight decreased by 6 pounds, which greatly pleased the girl. She tried on that suit again and took a picture. In the photo she again saw protruding “thighs” that were “transmitted” by the gum of golf. The girl was upset and decided to reduce the amount of food again.
In addition, she completely abandoned the finished food and allowed herself to eat only 1 apple, carrot, and raw tomato, in one day.
Hunger prevented falling asleep at night. The stomach was very sick, but Anastasia reassured herself that very soon she would become like the cute heroines of her favorite cartoons. After all, they are so sophisticated, pale, feminine. Nastya’s mother began to worry about the girl’s nutrition, because of which they began to quarrel often. Soon, the girl’s weight reached 84 pounds. However, she did not look like a skeleton.
Nastya considered her weight ideal, it seemed to her that she had achieved a result. Then the girl decided to take a picture in a suit with golf again. She did not like what she saw again. The waist seemed to have become thinner, and the skirt is too bristling, the thighs are still thick. Nastya thought that she needed to lose a couple more pounds. She decided to arrange a 3-day hunger strike.
The girl read on the Internet about the benefits of hunger, that in 3 days toxins will come out of the body and weight will decrease from 4 -7 pounds. On the first day, the girl felt a little worse than usual. In the evening she could not sleep for a long time, she was cold even under two blankets. I did not want to sleep, but there was a strong thirst. Nastya decided that if she doesn’t drink water, then the process of breaking down fat will go faster.
After 4 hours of torment, the girl fell asleep. The next day, she felt a little better, even wanted to do household chores. There was a lot of energy, there was no hunger at all. By evening, Nastya still felt tired and went to bed early. This time she managed to fall asleep quickly. At 3 a.m., the girl woke up from severe pain in her stomach.
The pain was so unbearable that Anastasia decided to end the hunger strike. She went to the kitchen to eat one apple, but did not reach. She fainted. Fortunately, the swoon lasted only a few seconds, Nastya woke up very scared and ran into the bedroom to her mother. She told her about everything that had troubled her so much time and about what had happened a few minutes ago.
She promised her mother that she would definitely go to a psychologist, as she had advised her before. What begins to eat properly and will no longer exhaust itself with diets.
The psychologist carried out corrective work aimed at increasing the self-esteem of Anastasia and the gi
rl learned to accept herself for who she is. Gradually, she returned to her former way of life, but did not leave the hobby to transform into her favorite cartoon heroines. Today she is 24 years old, and she has made friends with her interests.
She became an animator and works at children’s parties, and also conducts unusual photo sessions in colorful dresses. Now, the girl knows that trying to lose weight to a state drawn by a character is an extremely stupid undertaking. After Nastya again gained the necessary weight, she looks with horror at the photos taken at a weight of 84 pounds. Now she sees that she was on the verge of death.
The bones stuck out so hard that it was scary to watch. Nastya asks only one question why she did not notice then. Psychotherapist’s opinion : In this case, Anastasia was lucky that she herself saw the problem. In 80% of cases, patients cannot recognize the presence of anorexia, refuse treatment and continue to lose weight. Nastia had anorexia nervosa due to personal experiences.
She really wanted to be different from other teenagers, but when she chose a non-standard style of appearance, she was faced with a misunderstanding of others. This was probably one of the causes of the disease. Perhaps Nastya was able to realize the problem only thanks to the words of her mother when she told the girl about the wrong diet.
In addition, the mother supported the interest of her child when close friends turned away from him. By this, the woman strengthened the girl’s confidence in herself, and she was able to recognize the danger in time and seek help.
Milana Zagorodneva, 19 years old.
Milana always wanted to be slim, but she did not like sports. She liked different diets, which she became interested in from the age of 14. At age 18, all friends admired the figure of Milan, talked about her femininity and sophistication, she herself was never happy with the reflection in the mirror.
It seemed to the girl that her waist was not thin enough and her shoulders were too wide. The girl’s height was 5’5 foot, and weight 115 pounds. She was embarrassed to put on tight clothes, because she believed that her stomach was bulging. As in the first case, the girl decided to lose weight when she took a photo with her friends. It seemed to her that all the girls were slimmer than she.
Milana wanted to achieve a quick result, and sat on a drinking diet. She decided not to eat solid food for 30 days. Eat exclusively broths, milk and juices. Every day, the girl began with weighing, and did not go to bed without this procedure.
For 4 days, Milan felt good. She went for a walk with friends, bought herself fresh juices and drank them. The weight left, and by the evening of that day the girl weighed 108 pounds. Milan thought this was too slow a result. She decided to reduce the amount of fluids to 3 glasses a day. The only thing she drank without restriction was water.
Every time a girl felt hungry, she drank a glass of water. A week later, Milan felt weak and stopped getting out for walks with friends. The feeling of hunger arose less and less, but Milan noted a strong hair loss. She decided to drink vitamins. After the girl washed down one capsule with water, she felt severe nausea, as a result she vomited bile.
Milana did not connect this with a hunger strike, she decided that vitamins simply did not fit. At that time, the girl’s weight reached 101 pounds. Looking in the mirror, her stomach was still embarrassing, he was still sticking out, and when bending, he was going to fold. Milan has withstood the diet for all 30 days. She lost weight up to 93 pounds. Her bones of the clavicle, ribs, and pelvis became very visible. She liked it. Milana felt feminine and sophisticated.
The stomach finally disappeared, and she decided that it was time to stop the diet, and gradually return to the usual rhythm of life. In addition, surprisingly, the girl returned to her former strength, and she could again walk with friends. On the day when the diet was decided to end, Milan cooked a very thin oatmeal porridge.
She ate only a couple of spoons, when she immediately felt severe nausea and pain in her stomach. To stop this torment, she cleared her stomach causing vomiting. The condition has improved. The girl went to meet with the Druze in a cafe. The diet was over, which means you can again visit places where it smells of food and do not envy slender friends chewing delicious salads.
Milana ordered a fruit cut, she really wanted to eat something sweet. When they served her beautifully chopped apples, she knitted one piece and chewed it for a long time. Swallowed, waited 2 minutes, the stomach did not respond. Milana ate a few more slices, and then again felt severe nausea.
Gradually, the pain in the stomach intensified so much that her friends called the girl an ambulance. Milan was hospitalized. It turned out that the girl had a severe deficit in body weight. In addition, Milan previously suffered from gastritis due to diets and constant malnutrition. The hunger strike exacerbated the disease, and now the girl is at high risk of forming a stomach ulcer.
Fortunately, Milan was successfully treated. A year later, she again reached a normal weight of 128 pounds. She revised her methods of dealing with obesity and made the right decision: play sports and adhere to proper nutrition.
Opinion of the therapist: Milan pursued “ideal forms.” Her idea of a healthy female body is greatly distorted. The girl’s weight initially ( 115 pounds) was the lowest mark of the norm, with her height. The folds that she saw on her stomach are natural for each of us. When the body is tilted forward, even anorexia patients have these folds of skin.
Unfortunately, patients see them differently, they believe that only people who are overweight have folds. In addition, the girl chose one of the critically incorrect ways to deal with weight. Such a diet in the presence of gastritis is a direct path to the ulcer. For people with problems in the digestive tract, only a specialist should prescribe.
Milan was lucky that the assistance was provided on time, most likely this case would have been fatal. It becomes anorexic not only ordinary girls who want to become like models, but also the models themselves.
There are several cases where celebrities lost control of their weight and died due to exhaustion of the body:
- Anna Carolina Reston . Died at the age of 22 from exhaustion of the liver. With a growth of just over 5’6 foot, she weighed only 86 pounds. Before falling into a critical condition, the girl was on a strict diet, eating only a tomato and one apple a day.
- Peaches Geldof . Died at 25. The famous TV presenter brought herself to exhaustion by eating only liquid food.
- Hila Elmaliah . Model from Israel. She died at 20 years old with a weight of 60 pounds. She was treated for anorexia for 12 years. The treatment failed.
- Sisters Maria and Catti. These girls were nurses. Since childhood, they came up with a kind of game, the essence of which was to become thinner than the enemy. The game dragged on, the sisters died of exhaustion at age 24.
In 2013, fans of Angelina Jolie
were worried about the excessive thinness of the actress. Later it turned out that the star was indeed at 2 stages of anorexia, the cause of the development of the disease was severe stress. Fortunately, the actress overcame this ailment and regained normal weight.
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Psychologist’s advice for anorexia
Psychologist and nutritionist Maria Osipova gives some tips for parents whose children are in their teens:
- In the family, communication with the child should be equal. In addition to the requirements for good study and obedience, the child should hear words of support. He must know that his parents love him and this love does not need to be earned. After all, the first reason for the appearance of anorexia is self-doubt and a feeling of loneliness.
- Girls from 14 to 17 years old often become anarexics. Therefore, if parents notice that their daughter has lost a lot of weight and continues to go on diets, they are obliged to “sound the alarm” and turn to specialists.
- As a prevention and during the recovery period, it is necessary to praise the child at least 10 times a day for any, even minor successes. You need to hug him more often, listen to him, and discuss problems. In no case can you blame the patient in the reduction stage, with words like: “Look at what you have done, you almost ruined yourself!” and similar remarks. You should be careful and cautious, because any remark can be the reason for new attempts to lose weight.
Therapist Olga Sopot advises adults who suffer from anorexia:
- Do not be afraid to seek help from a psychologist. The specialist will help to understand yourself, identify the true causes of the unhealthy desire to lose weight and help to increase self-esteem.
- The relatives of the patient are also advised to consult a psychotherapist. They need to learn how to communicate with the patient correctly and eliminate the wrong family habits.
- Body-oriented therapy gives a good result. The patient recovers when he is engaged in gymnastics, breathing exercises, receives massage. These methods help to feel your body, to love it, to accept as it is.
Psychotherapists recommend that the patient’s close people not listen to his excuses, but send the person for treatment forcibly, because in 85% of cases. Anorexic women do not recognize the problem. They are trying in every possible way to translate the topic of the conversation, refuse to go to the doctor and from meals.
If you start the disease, then a fatal outcome is possible.
Before the patient dies, the following changes will take place in the body:
- inflammatory processes in the digestive tract will begin;
- the stomach and pancreas will fall;
- there will be problems with going to the toilet;
- constant pain in the stomach;
- after taking even a tiny amount of food, nausea or vomiting will occur;
- the menstrual cycle in girls will completely stop;
- dystrophy of the muscles of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue of organs will begin;
- body temperature will be lowered, a constant feeling of cold will begin to increase;
- the skin will become dry and lose elasticity;
- hair begins to fall out strongly, teeth crumble, nails break;
- anemia will develop;
- forces will begin to leave the body and the patient will not be able to get out of bed;
- stomach pains intensify;
- death will come.
Experts say that anorexia is not a lifelong diagnosis. The disease is treated, the main thing is to notice symptoms in time and not let your friends girls become anorexic. After recovery, it is necessary to observe the ex-patients and instill in them a culture of proper nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle.
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