Other food problems are signalled by significant and long-lasting changes in eating behaviour. People with anorexia nervosa present a distorted vision of their body shape and weight (for example young female). These individuals may see their body as aesthetically inappropriate, but in reality, this perception does not match their actual image. This can seriously affect their self-concept and self-esteem.
Anorexia is a relatively frequent disorder that is defined by the serious difficulty in maintaining a minimum adequate body weight, due to a significant fear of gaining weight and a very distorted view of body shape or weight. These individuals may see an image of themselves in the mirror as a fat body, with in fact they are thin. Psychological problems, such as attachment difficulties, may be associated with anorexia.
It is common for the individual with this psychopathology to insist that they do not have a normal or below normal weight, to practice intense physical exercise, to stimulate vomiting and to fast for long periods. It is also common to take laxatives and diuretics to eliminate ingested food.
How can psychological support help?
Individuals with this psychopathology often report that they are not ill and are often referred by family members for psychotherapy. Anorexia is a psychopathology with a high mortality rate, and therefore it requires urgent psychological intervention.