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Anorexia nervosa or popularly known as anorexia is a mental illness that affects the ability of an individual to eat properly. It is an eating disorder where the individual has the wrong perception of body weight. They have this intense fear of gaining weight and a wrong understanding of weight gain. An individual with anorexia nervosa values their ability to control their weight and shape, using extreme measures that will eventually interfere with their everyday activities.

One way to control weight gain they severely restrict their food intake. Another way is if they can’t control it and have to eat, they will induce vomiting, abuse the use of laxatives, diuretics, and enemas. Excessive exercising is another form of controlling their weight gain by people with anorexia.

Binging and purging, which can be seen on people with bulimia nervosa, are some of the symptoms people with anorexia do. In reality, people with anorexia are already malnourished and below their ideal weight. However, because of their wrong perception of weight, they don’t care anymore if is damaging their body anymore.

This disorder can be very difficult to overcome but with proper treatment, a person can make a complete recovery. The signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa are not limited to starvation or wrong eating habits, but it can be emotional and behavioral issues too.

Physical symptoms would include:

  • extreme weight loss
  • skinny appearance
  • fluctuating to abnormal blood count
  • fatigue
  • insomnia
  • constipation
  • amenorrhea or absence of menstruation
  • dry or yellowish skin
  • cannot stand cold temperature
  • low blood pressure
  • dehydration
  • osteoporosis
  • soft, downy hair due to malnutrition

The emotional and behavioral; symptoms would include:

  • refusal to eat
  • denial of hunger
  • always preoccupied with food
  • unexplained fear of weight gain
  • lying about food
  • social withdrawal
  • irritable
  • depressed mood
  • thoughts of suicide

If left untreated anorexia can be life-threatening. To learn more about the different complications of Anorexia Nervosa, please visit:

If you think you are suffering from Anorexia you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Anorexia as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).