Anorexia comes from the Greek words as follows: ‘an’ means privation or lack of and ‘orexis’ means appetite; therefore meaning a lack of desire to eat. A person who is suffering from anorexia nervosa is referred to as ‘anorexic’. “Anorexia nervosa” is frequently shortened to “anorexia”.
Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric condition, where the subject has low body weight and a distorted body image and they have an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Those suffering from anorexia often control their body weight in several ways, e.g., by voluntary starvation, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures, such as diet pills or diuretic drugs.
It primarily affects young adolescent girls in the Western world.
Anorexia nervosa is a complex condition and can prove to be life threatening, putting a serious strain on many of the body’s organs and physiological resources.
Osteoporosis can also develop as a result of anorexia.
Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa are demonstrated below:
- Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height
- Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
- The sufferer is disturbed about the way their body weight or shape is experienced
- There is undue influence in respect of body weight or shape on their self-evaluation
- They deny the seriousness of their current low body weight
- Loss of at least three menstrual cycles
- Growth of lanugo hair over the body (this is a type of hair that attempts to insulate the body because of the lack of fat)
- Reduced immune system function
- Creaking joints and bones
- Collection of fluid in ankles during the day and around eyes during the night
- Very dry/chapped lips due to malnutrition
- Poor circulation, resulting in common attacks of ‘pins and needles’
- In cases of extreme weight loss, there can be nerve deterioration, leading to difficulty in moving the feet
- Headaches, due to malnutrition
- Thinning of the hair
- Nails become more brittle
- Constantly feeling “cold”
- Bruise easily
- Dry skin
- Excessive exercise
- Food restriction
- Secretive about eating or exercise
- Possible self-harm, substance abuse or suicide attempts
- Very sensitive to references about body weight
- Become very angry when forced to eat “forbidden” foods.
During the Initial Consultation the client would be assessed as to whether THRIVE and/or CPI would be recommended as treatment for anorexia.
They could be advised to firstly undergo Thrive training prior to CPI, in order to deal with their badly managed thinking; they would then, possibly, be advised to embark on CPI to deal with the deep-rooted cause of the problem which could be identified and dealt with.
This is commonly a complaint where control is an issue.