A guide to understanding anorexia nervosa

Statistics now reflect rapid increases in the number of youngsters suffering from anorexia nervosa - the pursuit of excessive thinness through self-starvation. Early detection of this disorder is imperative in the successful treatment of underlying problems and the achievement of normal weight and eating behaviors. Therefore, parents, teachers, counselors, and anyone in a helping situation, need to be made aware that anorexia nervosa exists and what the outstanding characteristics and symptoms are. This text, directed to parents but actually designed to help those people who need to be made aware of anorexia by imparting a general understanding of what anorexia is and what is currently being accomplished in the area of treatment for these youngsters. The material has been divided into sections, for the purpose of: understanding anorexia nervosa, giving an overview of the existing literature available for further reading and summarizing treatment modalities. A case history and interview with the mother of an anorexic girl are included to illustrate the disorder. It is hoped that the information and resources offered through this project will help parents, teachers, counselors and those in the helping professions to be aware of the seriousness of anorexia nervosa and thus make early detection and recognition a real possibility.