When we focus on calories and losing weight, we keep ourselves in a state of denial about painful experiences in our lives. We have a strong need for acceptance from others and will go out of our way to please others, even if it means sacrificing our selves. This need for acceptance, coupled with feelings of low self-worth, keeps us stuck in a world of perfectionism, where our primary focus is on our body, how unacceptable we perceive it to be and what life will be like when we finally have the body we desire. As long as we believe that our body is the source of our unhappiness, we are able to stay in denial about the underlying causes of our distress with an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. What we fail to understand is that we are capable human beings, who can safely be responsible for our emotions and experiences, and who can learn to show respect for ourselves and our needs, without losing the support and respect of others.
The following is a list of some symptoms of anorexia. You need not have all of these concerns to be anorexic but you will likely identify with many.
Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa (physiological)
- Over-excessive concern with body image
- Extreme weight loss due to reduced food intake
- Feelings of being fat in spite of increasing thinness
- Obsessive Behaviour: With food, with dieting, and with exercising
Other physiological symptoms may include: weakness, swelling of the neck, cessation of menstruation, low pulse and blood pressure, ulcers, loss of tooth enamel due to repeated vomiting, thyroid dysfunction, insomnia, hormone and electrolyte imbalances, potassium deficiency, and others.
Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa (psychological)
- Loss of self-esteem
- Fears of growing up
- Difficult parent/child relationships
- Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority
- Peer and parent pressure
- Deep feelings of guilt and shame
Anorexia is also often accompanied by extreme over-activity, panic, anxiety, and sometimes drug abuse.
What You Can Do
If you believe that you or someone you know may have anorexia, there is something that you can do. At The CEDRIC Centre we understand many of the complex issues regarding anorexia and have qualified counsellors who will support you through the healing process.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this free offering. The CEDRIC Centre is committed to ensuring that everyone who wants information and support to heal from harmful coping strategies and their own stressful relationship with food, themselves or others, can access this support regardless of their financial situation or geographic location. If you feel you benefited from this offering please take a moment to pass it on to others. Share the link with friends and family; like our YouTube page; pass it along to teachers and educators, fitness instructors, doctors, dieticians etc. so everyone can benefit from these tools and we can enhance our community and the lives of more men and women every day.
For more information, or to speak with one of our qualified counsellors, please fill out our request form.