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The Eating Disorder Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a relentless pursuit of excessive thinness that interferes with the fulfillment of responsibilities to the self and to others because it produces an intense and irrational fear of becoming fat, an obsession with food and weight control, and a life threatening weight loss. Eventually, a series of starvation-induced physical and psychological changes threatens control over eating and motivates more conscientious efforts to reduce. The result is a truly vicious circle of weight loss, hunger, and fear that will become a deadly noose if the process is not acknowledged and reversed.
Usually the condition occurs during early adolescence to young adulthood, although it may strike later. Some 90 percent of sufferers are female; about 1 percent of American women are afflicted. Anorexia is dangerous, and professional help should be sought early. Prompt treatment will usually keep the condition from progressing, but some cases are very resistant to treatment and may require hospitalization. Some anorexics d…