Anorexia in Limbo
When I was sixteen years old, I met every requirement in the DSM-IV criteria for Anorexia Nervosa. My Body Mass Index (BMI) hovered just below 17.5, I was obsessed with counting calories and becoming skinnier, I was terrified of gaining even a single pound of weight, and I lost my period for longer than three consecutive cycles. My iron and ferritin levels fell below normal and I was tired all of the time. Before long, I was avoiding eating with my friends and family, and I had given up my favorite sports because I was too weak to run the warm-ups. I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, however; I refused help because I felt that I was never thin enough. When we think of someone with Anorexia Nervosa, we might picture someone like who I just described: underweight, sickly, and perpetually exhausted. However, these physical characteristics appear only over long periods of time; in order to actually exhibit them, one needs to have been struggling mentally for a while beforehand. One does not simply go to sleep one day healthy and wake up the next underweight and malnourished. Anorexia takes hold and develops over months or even years, and it is mentally debilitating long before its physical implications begin to emerge. Why, then, does our perception of Anorexia Nervosa hinge so heavily on its physical side-effects, and tend to focus less on the mental state that precedes it? The DSM recognized this issue in part and updated the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa in the new ...
Source: Psych Central - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Anna Beloborodova Tags: Anorexia Bulimia Diet & Nutrition Eating Disorders Body Image Source Type: news
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