Living With Anorexia Nervosa 2024

Living with Anorexia Nervosa? Or scared for your loved one who is? In this article, I will give you some real information on Anorexia Nervosa and much more.

Living with Anorexia Nervosa 2024

What is Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is the most damaging of all eating disorders to date. A person living with this condition is usually obsessed with their weight. They may not want to admit it, but the real problem lies there. It’s hard for someone with the condition to admit this as they then see that things can change, and they might not be in control of the weight loss. Their loved ones or friends will want to get them help, resulting in the individual becoming more conscious that they are not in control when they thought they were. It’s the eating disorder that is. It's a sickness, a mental illness of the brain that is a serious condition and left untreated will have a destructive impact on the individual and those around them.

The Signs

Knowing the signs is a vital key to determine if someone or yourself is suffering from AN. It’s important to know and understand any of these signs in order to properly identify the eating disorder. Some of these are:

If you or a loved one has these symptoms, then seeking the right medical help will be beneficial in taking the first step to recovery.

Having Anorexia Nervosa

If you are suffering from this, or a loved one is, and you want to know why their body is changing, not just outside but in, then you/they may be feeling things like:

These are all serious problems that occur when having AN. Already feeling ugly or not good enough, these problems start a shift and your ED is changing your mind and body drastically. As the body starts to deteriorate this becomes more critical than ever in getting into recovery, as the body is struggling and will result in end stage Anorexia leading to the loss of someone's life.

Self Harm

Another factor in AN, is that you or a loved one suffering from it may be self harming as a way to cope. I learnt in therapy you should never take away the coping mechanism. Simple try to make it less of a habit and a way to stop the feeling. If you do not know the signs or types of self harming then please make yourself aware, as this could be a number of things many people in this day and age are oblivious to.

This could mean substance abuse or hurting yourself physically by:

  • Cutting - Cutting themselves on their arms or legs to self harm.
  • Burning - Burning parts of their skin with hot objects, such as maybe cigarette burns, lighter burns or heating an object to hold onto their skin.
  • Self mutilation - Mutilating parts of their body because they hate how it looks. Cutting all over or carving their skin.
  • Substance abuse - Such as taking over the counter medication or buying illegal drugs/ medications/alcohol.

A lot of people think that self harm is for attention. This can be misconstrued, as it is actually a coping mechanism for suffering individuals with their severe mental health. You should always be considerate of this, and mindful to why they are doing it, and not so judging or make it about something its not.

What You Don’t Know

Many people don’t understand or realise how AN is the most dangerous of all eating disorders that usually result in death. No matter how hard a person battles this disorder, it’s always hard when it beats that persons will to survive. This is not something people with Anorexia can control. Usually a person that has AN also has other eating disorder problems. Body dysmorphia goes hand in hand with this condition along with depression and anxiety. It’s a dangerous mix. The feeling of not being 'sick enough' to be taken seriously usually occurs when they have been let down by others around them or the help they have received by professionals. This in turn fuels the ED and is more damaging mentally and in turn physically. 

Excessive Exercise

Some who suffer with Anorexia Nervosa seem to work out at the gym or at home. This could mean weights, running, long walks, sit-ups, etc. As its another way for them to try burn off the fat and calories they may have ingested or want to just lose more. Wanting to be thin takes over in the brain and working out is another form of that. Sometimes they will do this behind others backs as they don't want the added aggravation and told not to do it. We see online these days slim, fit women who also work out and promote themselves via social media. Having social media and aspiring to be like these women is another thing that damages the mental state. This is definitely a more common problems these days due to social media demands.

How Did The Anorexia Start?

I don’t have all the answers, but what I can tell you is it’s usually trauma. PTSD and trauma is one of the biggest reasons for myself in how my anorexia spiked so badly, I almost died during my first diagnosis. To this day it was never taken seriously really which made me think it was okay and that I was fine as it was never seen as a big problem or real to others around me. This became another enabler for it. The individual suffering could have already been body conscious and it takes maybe some bullying, or even today on social media we see models or “gorgeous women” that we may want to look like. This can be a trigger. No, we cannot shield everyone from social media as it’s a huge part of the world we live in now, but, we can take precautions and protect others from being exposed to it too much that it is altering our own health dramatically. The only way to know what or how the Anorexia started is by getting to the bottom, the root of it and going from there to start a healing cycle. If it is your loved one, you have to be cautious of asking too many questions to find the root. It may push them away more.

What Anorexia Nervosa Results In

The simple answer to this is death. Anorexia is designed to break everything down and eat at your body and what’s left of it. Think of it as a bad parasite that eats at the body and brain and you end up having little to no say anymore on surviving that. This ED is to hard to live with, and if that person does not seek treatment or get the proper help, support and love they need to beat this, then they will succumb to it. It's a sad but truthful fact. One that many turn a blind eye to as they either don't believe it or they simply don't care enough.

Triggers

Some do's and don'ts need to be addresses as this can be fatal to someone suffering from this dangerous condition. For instance, do not talk about your own eating habits and use words like how hungry you are, I guarantee the one suffering from AN is genuinely starving inside out and it's painful. Do not make their suffering about you. Not only does this make then feel lower but completely alone and going through this by themselves more. Never pick on how they look, this is a huge part in an ED as they are already so judgmental on their appearance, you could make matters even worse. Talking about how thin a person is and not considering the persons feelings that is suffering that they may not feel thin enough and aspire to be like that thin person. Being inconsiderate is more damaging to the persons mental state.

Treatment

Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa consists of behaviour therapy, a common type of treatment that professionals will start with. If the Anorexia is at a severe level then you or the individual may be hospitalised depending on the condition of the body. The harsh reality when suffering from Anorexia Nervosa is the treatment you may have to receive and endure. This happens to the individuals body. Loved ones or friends don't know how much a traumatic experience lays ahead for the person with the disorder. It's terrifying, and when they are taken to the GP or the hospital all they want to do is get out of the situation. That's where the most important and critical key comes in, and that is undying support and guidance they need to help with this battle.

Final Say

As an individual that has suffered from this disorder most of my life, I do feel hypocritical by writing this blog post. However, that being said, I do wish that others manage to survive this tragic life altering disorder. I am still in my fight against it, I have been in this fight alone with no support or guidance. Failed by loved ones and doctors alike, even failed by the eating disorder clinic that I had been sent to. “We think you are managing it”, when I was told this I was sent away and that was my last hope at getting help. Twice now in my life I have seeked professional help from the right places and been let down like nothing else. That's why I decided to write this article, I want to help others and their family and friends to make awareness for this disorder so that it can be addressed as quickly as possible before the damage is too great. I hope we make it through.

Know the signs and symptoms, you could save someone’s life.

Live Eve <3

P.S

If you have never heard of pro ana, I think it would be a great idea to read up on it, and what this means. If you or the person struggling is pro ana, then the right treatment to change this view point could help to save this persons life or help you see that being pro ana is not something you should live with as a choice to better yourself. Let me know if you think I should write a pro ana article next?

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