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Definition: A disorder characterized by fear of becoming fat and refusal of food, leading to debility and even death.
Symptoms: Exaggerated fear of weight gain, preoccupation with food, calories, excercise, etc., lost interest in sex, compulsive exercising, persistent feeling of being fat.
Causes: Control issues, early onset puberty, depression, perfectionism, extreme focus on appearances.
Treatment: Three steps: Getting back to a healthy weight, starting to eat more, and chainging the way one sees themselves and food.
"Last year was a pretty normal year for me. School was going good, my friends and I were getting along well, and I was involved in a bunch of out of school activities. But there was a problem..I thought I was fat. It was so bad I’d sit and cry sometimes, so I finally told my mom about my worries. She explained that muscle weighs A LOT more than fat…but I didn’t listen. It just didn’t seem to make sense. I stopped eating breakfast and lunch, and for a long time I lost a lot of weight. About 30 pounds. I went from being a healthy, 13 year old girl, to being underweight. I still wasn’t satisfied, though. When you have this condition, you see everyone as being stick thin and YOU being the overweight one. It was like being sucked into a whirlwind… I just couldn’t eat anymore. My two best friends, Mary* and Liz*, started to notice I was dropping a lot of weight and that I wasn’t eating lunch anymore. They got really worried. One night, we spoke on IM. They both asked me if anything had been bothering me lately.
I regret being so stubborn, but finally I told them to just leave me alone and let me live my life (You get extremely uptight). Being such good friends, they knew something was wrong and did some research. And after a while, they knew everything. They told my parents, and I had to go into intensive care immediately. I didn’t want to show it, but I was scared out of my wits. And today, two years later, I am very glad to say I’m over that time in my life. It’s an awful thing to do…girls going through adolescent years should never think less of themselves because others are smaller. Everyone’s different…that’s how I look at it."
Sources: "Anorexia." The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology.

Recommended Best Source:

"Anorexia." The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology.