Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss, or difficulties keeping a healthy weight. Many people with anorexia have a distorted body image, and usually restrict the number of calories they take in, along with having certain foods they refuse to eat. Some people with the disorder also compulsively exercise or purge. Anorexia can affect all different kinds of people. The disorder usually begins during adolescence.
To be diagnosed with anorexia the following criteria must be met:

1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health.

2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.

3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight. 

Even if all these criteria are not met, an eating disorder may still be present. 

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My Eating Disorder – Part I

I am not the girl I used to be. Everybody changes throughout the years, but my change wasn’t positive. I developed anxiety, depression and an eating disorder- all severe. If you talked to me when I was ten, I’d be just fine. If you put cake in front of me, I’d eat it all without even having a second thought about it. Well, not now…
It all started going downhill when I was in seventh grade, during field hockey season. I was the awkwardly tall girl, the ugly one. I felt like a misfit. I began feeling like nothing I did was right, that I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone. I didn’t know what was happening or why I felt this way, I was oblivious to what was going on.
In field hockey practice, I couldn’t run as long or as fast as the other girls, I couldn’t do as many push ups. I felt huge compared to all of them with their toned bodies, but I didn’t want to quit. Being on the field hockey team meant you were cool at my school, and my self-confidence was already low, I needed something to pick me up. I became the goalie. That way, I wouldn’t have to run during games and embarrass myself, but I’d still be a part of the team. Excluded, but I still had somewhere I convinced myself I fit in. I had a hard time socializing with the other players, so field hockey began to make me miserable. I wanted to fit in for real… I decided I needed to lose weight. Skinny means happy, right?
I started at about 160 lbs and dropped all the way down to 118 lbs all within two months. I blind to the illness that was taking over my body. Anorexia made my depression levels shoot through the roof. I began to self-harm. By eighth grade I had started losing my friends, dropping them one by one, isolating myself. This is when I was first brought to CPEP (Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program) and was hospitalized. I’d tried harming myself by taking pills before, but it never did anything. This time, I was so depressed I didn’t even have to take any pills. My school guidance counselor was talking with me, and ended calling my mom telling her I needed to go to CPEP. I was in the hospital for a little over a week, it taught me nothing… If anything, being in the psych ward and seeing other people with worse scars than me just made my depression worse and triggered me.