Anorexia Nervosa commonly known as Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of weight. People suffering from anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape.
To prevent weight gain, people with anorexia usually reduce their food intake, exercise excessively and they may control calorie intake by vomiting intentionally after eating. No matter how much they lose weight, they tend to fear weight gain.
Anorexia isn’t really about food. It’s an extremely unhealthy and sometimes life-threatening way to try to cope with emotional problems. When you have anorexia, you often equate thinness with self-worth.
There are many symptoms of anorexia like thin appearance, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, frequently skipping meals, exercising excessively, etc.
Anorexia, like other disorders, may take over your life and can be very difficult to overcome. But with treatment, people can get better and overcome it. They can return to healthier eating habits and reverse some of anorexia’s serious complications.
Hannah suffered from anorexia from the age of 12. It became severe during high school. She had to visit the clinic at least twice a week until she left school at the age of 17, but it continued during her musical theatre training even after that. She used to exercise obsessively but never used to refuel her body enough. She didn’t like to socialize as she had a notion that if she eats food, she’ll gain weight. She used to make excuses for not going out with friends and avoid eating fast food In fear of guilt later on. Anorexia ruined her social life, from friendships to family life. Then she experienced Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD). All this took over her life, she didn’t have any energy to sing, dance, or act. Whenever she was stressed, she used to perform intense exercise and punish herself constantly.
Getting therapy from many years on and off gave her the strength to fight. However, now she is passed her obstacles and is extremely close to becoming fully recovering. She exercises, but now she does it for enjoyment, to build strength and muscle, which she lost through many years of undereating and constantly punishing her body. Now her rule is. Whenever she chooses to exercise, she makes sure that she always refuels her body with proper food pre and post-workout. Now she enjoys midnight treats also, what once was a huge fear for her.
Not being able to perform on stage and having to stay at home (no gym, no routine, and daily life-changing), she noticed the change in her attitude towards food and body in a positive way.
Now when she accidentally slips into the old habit she can manage to take herself out of the guilt. During the quarantine, she learned to deal with her mistakes and has grown stronger mentally and physically.
Anyone who is suffering from an eating disorder or any mental health issues should not be afraid to ask for help and get support. Which is not a sign of weakness, asking for help. If you have a loved one you are worried about, urge them to talk a professional. If you are experiencing any of the problems listed above, or you think that you may have an eating disorder, do get help. If you are hiding from your family and are hesitating to open up, try to find a person who you can trust and talk to them about what’s going on.
It’s better to take small steps in the right direction rather than taking a big leap forward only to stumble backward.