Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa
Linda Price
Axia College of University of Phoenix
Joanna Puia
July 17, 2010

Anorexia Nervosa
      Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness whose main characteristic is extreme abnormalities in the afflicted individual’s eating habits. The individual suffering from anorexia nervosa refuses to consume a sufficient amount of nourishment to maintain the minimum weight considered normal for his or her height and age. Insufficient weight along with an extreme fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of his or her body and shape are all characteristics of anorexia. Anorexia can have dangerous psychological and behavioral effects on all aspects of an individual’s life and can affect other family members as well. There is treatment available for anorexia and without treatment it can possibly lead to death.
      The diagnosis of anorexia nervosa is contingent on four criteria stipulated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders. Criteria A include the refusal to maintain a normal weight by failing to sustain a weight which is equal to 85% of what is expected for his or her height and age. Criteria B include the extreme fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even though the individual is clearly underweight. An individual meets Criteria C when he or she is in denial about his or her illness, has distorted perceptions about his or her appearance or weight or exhibits an obsession pertaining to his or her appearance in regard to weight. The final criteria is met when a female anorexic is of menstrual age and has missed menstrual cycles due to her illness (American Psychiatric Association, 2009).
    There are two sub-types of anorexia nervosa along with the previous diagnosis criteria. These two sub-types include restricting anorexics who limit nutritional intake without the use of diuretics, enemas, or laxatives. The restricting anorexic will not resort to binging or purging to
control his or her weight. A...