Anorexia nervosa, one of the various types of eating disorder, can drastically impact a person’s health and overall well-being. Eating disorders affect about 30 million Americans, about 9%. Although obtaining professional behavioral health treatment to manage an eating disorder effectively is crucial, anorexia nervosa support groups in Laguna Beach can support the recovery process. Eating disorders can be difficult to overcome, but it is possible.
At Alter Wellness Care, we offer various treatment programs and support resources in Laguna Beach to help people combat eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa treatment is designed to reduce symptoms and help patients manage their disorder long-term. A person can certainly overcome an eating disorder like anorexia, but relapses can occur as with many other mental health and behavioral health disorders. That’s why anorexia nervosa support groups can be so important for individuals who are recovering from this condition.
If you want to learn more about anorexia nervosa signs and symptoms, contact Alter Wellness Care. Our clinicians are experienced in anorexia nervosa treatment and eating disorders in general. We can provide an individualized support plan to help people overcome mental health disorders in Laguna Beach.
Understanding Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is a serious eating disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of weight gain and a distorted perception of body image. People with the disorder tend to severely restrict the amount of food they eat, which can lead to malnutrition and even starvation. In their attempt to control weight and body shape, people with the disorder may limit their food intake and feel compelled to exercise excessively. They may also rely on and misuse diet pills, laxatives, and other weight loss supplements.
Anorexia nervosa is an unhealthy condition that can be debilitating and even life-threatening. Unwillingness to eat can lead to physical health problems, including organ damage and even organ failure. Anorexia nervosa risk factors include trauma, genetic vulnerability, and obsessive-compulsive psychological traits. There may also be environmental risk factors such as a cultural desire for thinness or media images that emphasize fit body types.
Anorexia causes mental and behavioral symptoms such as frequent meal skipping and using laxatives or other diet aids, but it can also cause physical symptoms like abnormal blood counts hair thinning, and hair loss. Anorexia nervosa treatment often involves psychotherapy cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. Alter Wellness Care provides treatment plans that are individualized for each patient. This allows our clinicians to meet patients’ specific care needs, speeding the recovery process and promoting faster symptom relief.
Beginning of Anorexia: Warning Signs
Although anorexia nervosa affects more females than males, it does affect both sexes. Early warning signs of the eating disorder may feature a preoccupation with dieting. Individuals might become obsessive about checking their weight and evaluating their body shape. Some people may complain excessively about perceived body flaws. They may cover up their bodies. It’s not uncommon for individuals with this disorder to call themselves overweight even though, to others, they may appear very underweight.
Symptoms and Signs of Anorexia Nervosa
People with anorexia tend to experience physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms can include:
- Extreme weight loss.
- Appearing underweight/malnourished.
- Absence of menstruation in females.
- Thinning hair or hair loss.
- Downy hair that covers the body.
- Low blood pressure.
- Irregular heart rhythm.
- Abdominal pain/constipation.
- Yellowing skin.
- Swelling of limbs.
Emotional and behavioral symptoms may include:
- Severe food deprivation.
- Use of enemas and laxatives.
- Obsessive dieting.
- Use of herbal supplements that reduce appetite.
- Eating only foods that are extremely low in fat and calories.
- Refusing to eat in public.
- Lying about eating/not eating.
- Mood swings.
- Covering up the body.
- Fear of weight gain.
- Repeatedly checking weight/mirror for signs of weight gain.
Causes of Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia impacts people who may already be vulnerable to obsessive-compulsive tendencies or have been subjected to trauma. The disorder appears to be associated with genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. The disorder is less about food than it is about emotional problems.
Risk Factors for Anorexia Nervosa
Content Brief: Discuss various risk factors for Anorexia nervosa, including age, gender, genetics, and cultural influence.
Subtypes of Anorexia and Restricting Anorexia
Anorexia nervosa can involve subtypes of the disorder, such as restrictive anorexia. People with this subtype will severely restrict their intake of food but do not purge or binge as people with other eating disorders or other forms of anorexia might do. Anorexia nervosa can also involve binging and purging food after it’s eaten.
Treatment Options for Anorexia Nervosa
Treatment of anorexia nervosa usually involves forms of psychotherapy that help patients identify wrong or unhealthy forms of thinking and feeling. Clinicians help patients work through their obsessive thoughts and then focus on developing strategies for changing their harmful behaviors. Some people might benefit from antidepressants, but no medication is designed to treat the disorder specifically.
Anorexia Nervosa Support Groups in Laguna Beach
Content Brief: Discuss the role and benefits of support groups, how to find them in Laguna Beach, and what one might expect when attending these meetings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Anorexia Nervosa Support Groups in Laguna Beach
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is an extremely dangerous eating disorder involving severe food restriction. People with this condition obsess about their weight and body size to the point that their physical health is compromised. Complications of the disorder can include organ damage and organ failure.
What are the warning signs of Anorexia Nervosa?
Warning signs of anorexia might include obsession with dieting and checking weight. People may complain about ‘being fat’ or other perceived flaws that cause them to restrict their diet or rely on laxatives and diet supplements.
What causes Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia, like many mental health disorders, appears to be caused by multiple factors such as genetics, the environment, and psychological trauma.
What are the subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa, and what is restricting anorexia?
The subtypes of anorexia are binging/purging anorexia and restricting anorexia. The restricting form involves severely restricting food intake or fasting.
What treatment options are available for Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa treatment may involve hospitalization, psychotherapy, and medical interventions such as feeding tubes or antidepressants. Anorexia nervosa support groups in Laguna Beach may also be helpful in the ongoing management of the condition.
How can support groups help someone with Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa support groups in Laguna Beach can give people with the disorder access to peers who struggle with the condition. Patients can learn from one another and feel less socially isolated as they recover. Support groups can help people ward off relapse.
How can I find an Anorexia Nervosa support group in Laguna Beach?
Contact Alter Wellness Care for help finding an anorexia nervosa support group in Laguna Beach.
What can I expect from an Anorexia Nervosa support group in Laguna Beach?
Patients with anorexia nervosa can expect confidential support by attending support group meetings. Peer and professional support and a focus on recovery are advantages of support group participation.