Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological illness marked by a sufferer's excessively slim body (from 85% to 50% of normal body weight, or sometimes less), depression, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and an obsession of food. This includes setting a rigorous diet/exercise schedule, fear of being obese, and a major guilt in ingesting food. Anorexics have poor self-esteem, a negative self-image, and the mortality rate of the disease is over 10%, making it one of the most deadly of all psychological disorders. Anorexia is most common in women, who make up 95% of its sufferers. It usually develops in adolescence, at around 13 years of age.
Here is a woman who was a long time sufferer of anorexia. There was a great youtube clip of her, but unfortunately the embedding for it was disabled.
I have had two siblings suffer from this disease (full recoveries, no worries), so this affliction has definitely played a big part in my life as far as my childhood is concerned.
I have a lot of questions regarding this disease. What physical biological changes in the brain occur after the onset of the illness? Why have out-patient, behavioral treatments been largely ineffective compared to standard nutritional treatments? Has there been significant, recent findings regarding the treatment of this disease?