If you or anyone you know suffers from an eating disorder, then you know the mental, emotional, and physical scars that accompany it. While anorexia might seem like a physical disease, it all begins in the mind and slowly breaks down the body. Anorexia is not a choice, a lifestyle, or a trend. It is a serious, potentially life-threatening illness that requires treatment of some form.
Sadly, a review of nearly fifty years of research confirms that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. Furthermore, this mortality rate is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death for females between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four years old.
While research is ongoing regarding the causes of anorexia, researchers believe it occurs from a combination of genetics, stressful life events, personality traits such as low self-esteem and perfectionism, extreme dieting that can cause changes to the brain’s chemistry, and societal and personal pressure to stay thin.
Anorexia is not something to be taken lightly. If you or anyone you know suffers from anorexia, please seek professional help. Your life matters, and you don’t have to allow an illness to rule your life any longer.
The following list is not exhaustive, but these are the main signs you need to look out for in yourself and others who might be suffering from anorexia.