‘Hey, you have lost a lot of weight suddenly. Are you alright?’ You might have seen someone saying this to a girl/boy who really did lose a lot of weight suddenly. They look weak and skinny and often come across as short tempered. This is a common symptom of a disorder named anorexia nervosa.
It is an eating disorder causing people to obsess about weight and what they eat. Anorexia is characterised by a distorted body image, with an unwarranted fear of being overweight. Basically such people constantly obsess over their weight. This usually happens during adolescence. This is because during this time period, teenagers go through puberty. This means they feel the need of constantly looking pretty. This also usually happens to girls as the social norm is set as such that the skinnier you are, the prettier you look. No doubt this social norm is now dramatically rejected as people are more accepting of all kinds of body types.
Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous disorder. It’s like having a voice in your head constantly telling you that you look fat and should lose more weight. This is dangerous because people suffering from anorexia nervous are repulsed by the idea of eating. They literally don’t like eating. To the point they isolate themselves from their friends and family so that they don’t have to eat.
They not only despise eating, they exercise aggressively and push their limits to the store extent that they endanger their own lives. They constantly work out and drink water when they feel hungry. Whenever they do eat, they feel guilty and put off all the calories by working out more than ever.
Other symptoms of this disorder includes dizziness, dehydration and feeling cold all the time. Girls often miss their menstrual cycle. People often become short tempered or moody. They also become more anxious and apprehensive about basically everything.
They are often constipated and force themselves to vomit from time to time. Their nails become brittle and hair become dry, thin and fall out occasionally. Most dangerous of all is that they become malnourished and their heart beats slower than usual. They refuse getting treated because they constantly feel that they will become ‘fat’ or overweight. They might also suffer from depression.
Now that we know about this disorder, one must look out for all of these symptoms as we might just be able to help them. People suffering from anorexia nervosa need their family and friends even though they might avoid them. It is important for their family and friends to make them realize that life is more than just body types and weight. If they are not happy even after losing all that weight, losing weight is not the true path of becoming happy. They need to realize that their family and friends love them for who they are. Yes, it will be very hard for everyone around them. Especially the parents. But this is the time we must remember that we are the only ones who can bring their child back. Proper professional help should be taken and apart from that through therapy and proper healthy diet, they can always come back to their real home.
The only way to gain true happiness is through self care and self love. They need to realize no matter how skinny they become, if they don’t love themselves for who they are, all this trouble can never be worth it! Loving yourself is more important than anything. Accepting your body type is one step of becoming happy.