Anorexia nervosa is a condition in which an adolescent limits his or her nutritional intake in order to lose weight. This limitation results in behavior changes that eventually lead to severe weight loss and starvation.
Victims of anorexia nervosa, more often female than male, may have problems in asserting independence and effective control of their lives. The victim may also have deep ambivalent feelings about growing up, attaining mature sexuality, and dealing with various dynamics in the family.
The victim holds a distorted self picture. They see themselves as fat, and become obsessed with food. Nuch time may be spent in preparation of food that they will not eat. They engage in extreme diets, and strenuous physical exercise, and occasionally in self-induced vomiting, or laxative abuse. This condition may lead to hospitalization. Treatment for anorexia nervosa is aimed at correcting the malnourished state and the emotional disturbance of the victim and the victim’s family. Psychotherapy is used to explore what caused the problem. Parental support is of great importance during the illness. The victim has to develop a sense of responsibility toward their health and their eating habits.