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The Link Between Obsessive Thinness and Mental Health: 6 Contributing Factors

The Link Between Obsessive Thinness and Mental Health: 6 Contributing Factors

Anorexia Nervosa is a mental disorder that leads individuals to avoid eating to prevent weight gain.

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It’s common for women to focus on their appearance to maintain a pleasing look.

Some resort to dieting in their pursuit of an ideal, slim physique. However, many become excessively fixated on dieting, compromising their physical well-being.

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

In a recent post on the X platform (Twitter @DrSamhan), a health professional shed light on a mental disorder known as Anorexia Nervosa.

According to him, Anorexia Nervosa manifests when individuals refuse to eat due to a fear of gaining weight.

People grappling with this issue often perceive themselves as larger than they truly are.

90% of those affected are women, typically starting around the age of 11.

Research from the Malaysian Psychiatric Association indicates that 1% of the Malaysian population is affected by this mental condition.

Left untreated, Anorexia Nervosa can pose a grave threat.

Understanding the Root Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa can stem from various factors. Here are some contributing factors:

1. Genetic Factors

Research suggests that the risk of developing Anorexia Nervosa increases if there is a family history of the condition. Additionally, related conditions like Bulimia Nervosa, depression, and substance abuse can influence this mental disorder, leading to weight loss.

2. Age Factor

Adolescent girls, in particular, may develop Anorexia Nervosa due to an excessive preoccupation with physical appearance, leading them to restrict food intake and experience rapid weight loss.

3. Low Self-Esteem

Individuals with low self-esteem, stemming from body image concerns, are more susceptible to Anorexia Nervosa. This condition may also arise when individuals set unrealistic beauty standards for themselves.

4. Stress Factors

Extreme stress can contribute to Anorexia Nervosa. Various stressors, including physical, psychological, sexual abuse, and past traumatic events, can trigger eating disorders.

5. Influence of Social Media

Social media platforms often portray thinness as a beauty ideal. Advertisements promoting this aesthetic can compel women to reduce their food intake, potentially leading to Anorexia Nervosa.

6. Other Health Factors

Anorexia Nervosa may develop alongside other health issues, such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (overactive adrenal glands) or Lupus.

Coping with Anorexia Nervosa

For those affected by this condition, rest assured, there are ways to address it:

  • Engage in light exercise when dealing with stress.
  • Recognise and accept the presence of Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Adhere to dietary recommendations from medical professionals.
  • Participate in counselling sessions.
  • Follow prescribed treatments, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilisers.
  • Maintain social connections.
  • Seek support from family members.

READ MORE: Knowing The Difference Between An Anxiety Attack And A Panic Attack

READ MORE: Insufficient Water Intake During Dieting Puts You At Risk of Serious Health Issues

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