‘The anoretic operates under the astounding illusion that she can escape the flesh, and, by association, the realm of emotions.’ – Marya Hornbacher
Anorexia is an emotional disorder which is often debilitating and can be fatal. Sufferers are often in denial about having a problem despite those around them regularly telling them they are too skinny, that they need to eat more. When someone comments or tries to help, the sufferer can often have negative reactions such as anger and frustration. They want to maintain the control. One thing that the sufferer can control is what they eat, or don’t eat. Feelings of control can give the sufferer a sense of comfort and over a period of time as those behaviours become more familiar, they become more ‘ingrained’, increasing the risk of more mental and physical problems.
As the mind struggles with eating the body struggles with functioning well due to the lack of nutrients. Short term problems include fatigue and muscle weakness, constipation, fainting and dizzy spells, bad circulation, often feeling cold, bloating, disruption to menstrual cycle, fine downy hair growing over face and body. More serious problems include failing eyesight, osteoporosis, fertility, heart problems including cardiac arrest.
Sufferers often have mixed emotions and are often reluctant to want to change. They have an ‘inner conflict’ – often wanting to get better but at the same time not wanting to eat, perhaps over exercising and having a terrible fear of gaining weight. Although there are several similar traits with each sufferer, each person is unique and their behaviours and beliefs will have developed through their own unique journey. As such, the sessions aim to understand these beliefs and behaviours and to agree and develop new and healthier ones.
As well as helping to change limiting beliefs, the sessions aim to help develop different strategies and habits and to create new, healthier eating and exercise habits.
If symptoms are noticed it is advisable to seek advice. Early treatment can speed up the recovery time.
Support is also available for families and loved ones often struggle with trying to cope with anorexic sufferers.