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Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is marked by food avoidance, restriction of food, or consumption of small quantities of food.
This disorder has the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders.

Two subtypes of Anorexia:​

  1. Restrictive - Restrict food type and consumption​

  2. Binge-Purge - Restrict food type and consumption, along with binge-purge behaviors involving the use of laxatives, vomiting, diuretics 

Summary of symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa include:

  • Restrictive eating and/or intensive and excessive exercise 

  • Desire to be thin even if underweight

  • Unwilling to maintain a healthy weight

  • Distorted body image

  • Fear of gaining weight

According to NIMH - National Institute of Mental Health, complications of Anorexia Nervosa can include:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Mild anemia

  • Brittle hair and nails

  • Lanugo - fine hair growth on the body

  • Low blood pressure

  • Slowed breathing and pulse

  • A drop in body temperature - feeling cold

  • Dry and yellowish skin

  • Lethargy and tiredness

  • Damage to the heart

  • Infertility

  • Brain damage

  • Multiorgan failure

  • Extreme thinness

  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia - thinning of bones

  • The pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a healthy weight

DSM V Criteria For Anorexia Nervosa:

A. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significant low body weight in the context of the age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health (less than minimally normal/expected).

B. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain.

C. Disturbed by one’s body weight or shape, self-worth influenced by body weight or shape, or persistent lack of recognition of seriousness of low bodyweight.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. DSM-5 Changes: Implications for Child Serious Emotional Disturbance [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2016 Jun. Table 19, DSM-IV to DSM-5 Anorexia Nervosa Comparison.

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