Anorexia nervosa or anorexia (commonly known as), is the eating disorder that is prevalent amongst women (especially young women). In simple terms it means, starving oneself to an extreme level in order to lose weight and thus feel accepted, increase self esteem or other such reasons.
Most young Indian girls are falling in this trap while in an attempt to ape the ‘model’ image that is highly popularistic in nature. Terms like ‘size zero’, 24-36-24, etc are highlighted by the media and they are putting tremendous pressure on young girls to lose weight. The process of anorexia starts innocently where, in the initial stage the individual aspires to be like the model or desires to have a figure like the girl in the cover page of the magazine that she saw. Later, this process slowly turns into self obsession where the person reaches to a stage that she can do anything to lose that flab.
Anorexia also shows tendencies where girls are not ‘fat’ or ‘over weight’ and still they want to look thin which results in poor perception of the self. It almost becomes a fanatic obsession and their distorted perception of self makes them see themselves as fat, even when they are thin.
Anorexics over-exercise to lose whatever little weight they are left with. Hypothermia can also be a result of anorexia. Under this the fat cells of the body which are a natural insulation become non-existent and the victim starts feeling cold all the time. As parents, observe the activities and the thought processes of your teen closely and often indulge in dialogues and conversations that help her to lift her motivation and self image.