Living in a world governed by an unhealthy emphasis on the way you look can be very taxing. The constant pressure to look good, maintain an attractive figure and appease to the popular sense of beauty can have a grave impact on the person’s physical and mental health. And, it doesn’t help when fashion shows and magazines have thrust a “tailor-made” image of how a person should look right in front of your eyes.
Maintaining a healthy weight or working towards achieving the same is quite essential, but when it becomes an obsession, that is when you see red flags appearing all over the place. In a bid to maintain the “ideal” weight people often stop eating; instead of brushing it away as an irrational fear, caution has to be exercised while dealing with people facing such situations. One such condition that arises on a person’s obsession to not gain weight, and which prompts them to take extreme measures is called anorexia nervosa.
What is anorexia nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder which is characterized by the fear of gaining weight, and people go to any lengths to maintain the ideal weight. People suffering from anorexia nervosa do consume food but control their calorie intake by misusing diuretics, diet aids or laxative, or simply by vomiting after eating. This obsession with maintaining weight might become life-threatening if left unchecked.
People often relate anorexia nervosa with food, but the real culprit which drives people to take drastic measures is purely psychological. Such people often equate self-worth with being thin and go to extreme levels to make themselves feel worthy.
What are the causes of anorexia nervosa?
As mentioned earlier, anorexia nervosa stems from psychological issues and can be life-threatening if it goes unchecked. Before the condition can be diagnosed, certain symptoms start surfacing- thin appearance, thinning of hair, the absence of menstruation, dehydration, insomnia, etc. The causes of anorexia nervosa are as follows-
- One of the major causes of anorexia nervosa is biological. Though no discovery has been made regarding which faulty gene is responsible for triggering anorexia nervosa, certain biological traits can make the individual more vulnerable to anorexia nervosa. People who have the need to be perfect or those who are overly sensitive can fall prey to anorexia nervosa.
- Anorexia nervosa has psychological overturns since this disorder stems primarily from a desire to achieve the perfect body. Certain psychological traits can also make the individual more prone to this disorder. Some people who are quite aggressive towards achieving their goals or those who have an obsessive-compulsive desire to stick to a diet can cause such people to forsake food and become anxious when they consume food.
- The unrealistic expectations of the society we live in are also one of the major causes of anorexia nervosa. The society has firmly laid down rules regarding how a person should look, how they must dress, what they must eat, and what they must do. Only if you adhere to these norms would you feel worthy. Being thin is often equated with being pretty or successful, and this is what drives young girls to adopt unhealthy ways to adhere to the image created by the society.
Whatever the cause of anorexia nervosa, one needs to pay attention to the fact that it is a life-threatening condition. Also, you need to drive this thought home that being comfortable in your own skin is what qualifies for being beautiful.