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What is anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa, more commonly referred to as anorexia, is a psychological condition that involves an eating disorder.  Anorexia causes individuals to have an extremely low BMI (body mass index) often due to their unrealistic body image and fear of becoming overweight.  


There is no single cause for anorexia nervosa, but it has been linked to a variety of biological, environmental,and psychological factors.  These factors include things like susceptibility to depression and anxiety, negative emotions, and low self-esteem.


  • Severe loss of muscle mass
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Brittle nails
  • Obsession with food
  • Not eating frequently enough
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior

Am I at risk?

The risk factors for anorexia include:

  • Having a negative self image
  • The need for control over an aspect of your life
  • Experiencing anxiety or high stress levels during your childhood
  • Having obsessive-compulsive tendencies

Anorexia At A Glance

  • Nearly 1 in every 100 American women will experience anorexia anorexia in their lifetimes.
  • Between 33 and 50 percent of those diagnosed with anorexia are also diagnosed with a mood disorder, such as anxiety, depression, or OCD.
  • Among teenagers, anorexia nervosa is the third most prevalent chronic illness.

If you are experiencing a life threatening emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room

(800) 273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(800) 799-7233 National Domestic Violence Hotline(800) 273-8255 Veterans Crisis Line(800) 442-4673 National Hopeline Network(800) 366-8288 Self-Harm Hotline(800) 448-3000 Boys Town National Hotline(800) 656-4673 National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline(800) 622-2255 Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line