Anorexia is term that is often loosely thrown around to describe someone who is skinny or overly weight-conscious, however there are clear criteria that characterize this serious disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders V, Anorexia Nervosa diagnostic requirements include:
–Restriction of energy intake leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health
–Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain even though at a significantly low weight
-Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence on body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight
If you are concerned that a loved one exhibits harmful/restrictive eating habits, low body image, and obsesses about thinness check the facts outlined by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders regarding the presence of Anorexia:
-deliberate self-starvation with weight loss
-intense, persistent fear of gaining weight
-refusal to eat or engages in restrictive eating patterns
-excessive facial/body hair due to the inadequate consumption of protein
-abnormal weight loss
-abnormal hair loss
-absent or irregular menstruation
Consult your family physician or schedule an appointment with a mental health provider if these symptoms develop or persist for effective treatment options.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!