Beyond Physical Appearances: A Guide to Anorexia

Anorexia is a serious disorder that affects more than 8 million Americans. This translates to one victim for every two hundred people. Around 90% of the people who suffer are women. There was a time when it was thought that this disease only affected upper class women. Today, it is a widely accepted principle that this is a disease that is not biased towards social class and race.

There are two distinct types of anorexia: one that involves binge eating and then forcing the food out and the other that does not.

Cases of the disease can mean that the victim refuses to gain weight because of self-esteem. This disease causes serious impacts on a person's mental health and relationships.


The disease is caused by multiple factors but there is no known exact cause. Studies show that there are several conditions that increase the risk of a person towards the disorder. First, many of these people are overachievers. In some cases, some people who start dieting begin to travel towards this path. Today, what people see on the internet and on TV as the standard of beauty can also affect how a person can develop the disease. Some researcher say that this could be hereditary and some say that this is caused by social and influences. Stress is also considered as a leading cause.

Treatment and Recovery

This disorder cannot be cured without professional help. Some people can respond in a good way but many victims require psychotherapy. Many researchers have observed that the involvement of the family works best for the treatment. The most common treatment is the improvement of a person's self-esteem because this is what usually causes the problem.

Anorexia and Athletes

One observation is that athletes are more common to develop this than those who are not. A high percentage of athletes who participate in sports that require slim bodies suffer from the disorder.

Male Anorexia

Males are not immune to this disorder. Studies reveal that one in six individuals who have poor self-esteem in relationship to their bodies is a male. It is unknown how prevalent this is to males because of gender stereotyping.

Other Eating Disorders

There are other eating disorders and they should not be confused with anorexia. Some people eat only certain foods. Some abstain from specific kinds of foods. Others binge-eat while some are obsessed with specific kinds of foods.

Eating Disorder Help

These are some resources that can help you learn more about eating disorders.