Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness, which implies an eating disorder. There are certain criteria for anorexia apart from the usual desire to lose weight, which is a usual wish of most modern women. Here are some characteristic features of anorexia:
1. Desire to lose weight at any cost. Spurred by fear of obesity and the appearance of sagging skin, etc. Teenagers resort to the help of to diets, exercises, conscious induce vomiting. The desire to lose weight is converted into the race. In this case there is a constant dissatisfaction with the result, and weight loss is greater than originally planned.
2. The perception of themselves is impaired. The distortion is so strong that the girl, even pretty emaciated by the diets, sees herself as fat
3. Anorectics do not recognize their disorder in the same way as alcoholics do not recognize their illness.
4. The girls suffer from suppressed menstruation.
5. At a later stage, there are substantial changes in the body when food is no longer perceived. At this stage it is very difficult to get out of this trouble.
Anorexia has been known since ancient times. The cases of this disease were described from the Hellenistic era. During the Renaissance there was such a thing as "holy anorexia", so called canonized saints girls who refused to eat in the service of God. For example, the case of St. Catherine of Siena, who refused to eat and was taking care of the sick. She became a symbol, whichwas tried to follow by other girls. At the beginning of the Victorian era the start of the disease fell on the case when a large farming family showed all the curious their emaciated daughter, who stopped eating. The public was interested in the fate of the girl, and apparently wanting the same fame, the other girls, too, began to refuse from food. In the 60s of last century, anorexia appeared in the form of slender girls with big eyes , which became a model for many girls at that time.
These days sickly thinness in adolescent girls is associated with wealth. It is no coincidence that there are so many sites and blogs devoted to diet and hunger, where the photos of skinny girls are laid out. There is even a company called Pro-Ana, which unites the girls who do not want to get better and continue to fight with the weight.
According to the research conducted in Western Europe, the largest number of patients-anorectics are girls from 15 to 18 years. It is not surprising, since adolescence is a time of global restructuring of the psyche that needs to get out of the state of child and go into an adult. At the same time there are changes in the body, and the child will learn to live with this new body to manage their sexuality and their femininity. Which is even more important, the relationship with their own body takes a dominant position.
Are there chances to cure?
Unfortunately, until recently, the problem of anorexia nervosa was examined only by psychiatrists. Methods of treatment in psychiatry are pretty tough, at times even brutal. Patients are forced to eat, at the same time they are fed by medicines and got on a drip. It is assumed that the disease is incurable. Indeed, at some point to overcome anorexia is difficult, sometimes impossible. Quite large percentage of women with anorexia die. For anorexia treatment one must apply comprehensive approach, working with physicians and psychiatrists. And a very important factor in the development of the disease is the psychological conflict that should unravelled by the psychotherapist or psychoanalyst. Psychologists and therapists give a special role in disease development to the relationship of teen girl with her mother. Most susceptible to anorexia are daughters of authoritarian and hyper- caring mothers, girls with severe narcissism, the so-called "complex of excellent pupil" who seek to become the best and unable to take even minor defeat.
It is easier to prevent anorexia than cure. Love the children as they are, more often hug them and say kind words, build a harmonious relationship with your loved ones, properly allocate roles within the family, and then this problem will not affect your daughters.