How dangerous is anorexia nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that relies on near starvation to lose weight. It is an extremely dangerous condition that is often fatal due to the harmful physical effects on the body and the suicidal tendencies of a person who cannot break loose from its fierce grip.
The physical dangers of anorexia are short and long term. The short term effects are the same as malnutrition and include stunted growth, impaired immune system, weakened bones, frail hair, and nails. The long term health effects are more serious and include osteoporosis, a ruined reproductive system, kidney failure, and even heart failure.
There are also many psychiatric dangers of anorexia. It is an addiction that takes over one’s mind and affects all aspects of life. Anorexic people strive after a false perfection, even after they are well below a healthy weight. Their mind becomes so consumed by this that they are unable to think rationally about themselves.
Quality of Life and Relationships
Anorexia is not only dangerous to a person’s own body and mind; it has a damaging effect on all aspects of life, especially relationships. A person who is constantly not measuring up to their own standard will find it difficult to relate to others or to believe that others could actually love them. The anorexic person will withdraw from close relationships and find it difficult to make new relationships. This can lead to severe depression.
How to Help
If you or someone you know is anorexic, it is often helpful to talk to someone who has been through it before. The earlier you seek help, the better. Often a person who has been anorexic for a very long time will need to be admitted to special hospitals or rehab centers to address eating disorders.