Are Anorexics Vain?

Are Anorexics Vain?According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or lose weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively. This eating disorder is not really about food, but an unhealthy way to cope with emotional problems. When you have anorexia nervosa, you often equate thinness with self-worth, but this can lead to devastating side effects.

Emotional Characteristics of Anorexics

In addition to the physical changes that accompany anorexia nervosa, this disorder causes the following emotional issues:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Increasing isolation

According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexics commonly have other mental disorders, including the following examples:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Drug abuse

Between the physical and emotional characteristics of anorexia, many eating disorder experts have developed a profile for people with anorexia. Anorexics tend to be compliant, seek approval, avoid conflict, perfectionists, socially anxious, obsessive/compulsive and they may have average or above-average intelligence. A family environment may include an overprotective mother and passive father.

Signs of Anorexia

Many of the signs of anorexia suggest that an anorexic person is vain. However, upon closer examination you can see that the anorexics actually demonstrate insecurity and an aggressive need for control. These warning signs include the following signs:

  • Constant focus on appearance. They may spend a great deal of time looking in the mirror, criticizing physical characteristics and trying different hairstyles, nail polish colors and clothes.
  • Frequently talking about food in terms of calories, not nutrition
  • Becoming distant from friends and family
  • Lack of eye contact when speaking with others about eating concerns
  • Avoiding sitting with the family at meal time, making excuses of being too busy or having other obligations
  • Being compulsive about what they eat
  • Excessive exercise
  • Being extremely tired, often irritable, and increasingly withdrawn

It is important to understand the signs of anorexia and get help as quickly as the need arises.

Treatment for Anorexia

The first step in treating anorexia is to get medical care to restore a healthy weight. With the physical crisis being managed, treatment then turns to psychotherapy to help the anorexic understand what led her to this condition. She must then resolve the issues without turning to anorexia.

Help for Eating Disorders

The sooner you get help for someone with an eating disorder, the greater the likelihood of recovery. People may fear the shame of admitting such a problem, so they do not want to talk about anorexia. To be assured of confidentiality and to get answers to your questions, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline anytime. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle eating disorders and can provide you with options, information about insurance and resources.