Anorexia nervosa is not a simple bout of not wanting to eat. It is a dangerous behavior that stems from the fear of weight gain. It involves a distorted way of thinking. When it is finally noticed the person is usually in a state of malnutrition, which can lead to a lengthy anorexia recovery.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa.

It can be a relentless struggle for the person who suffers from this mental health issue. Most of the time the struggle isn’t about food, but rather an emotional issue. Anorexia is just the coping mechanism that was chosen.

Physical symptoms.

Some of the symptoms that you or a Christian Counselor can look for are low body weight, vomiting, misuse of laxatives, and fatigue. Someone who is struggling with anorexia may have a bluish tint to his or her fingers as well as evidence of self-induced vomiting by callouses on the knuckles.

A person suffering from this disorder may also be unable to tolerate the cold so you will notice that he or she is always covered up or wearing heavy clothing. However, he or she may also choose to layer clothing in an attempt to hide his or her body.

Emotional symptoms.

There are many emotional signs of anorexia for which you can look. The most common symptom is the severe restriction that a person places on food. You may also notice that he or she is exercising way more than normal and losing weight at an alarming rate. A few of the other noticeable symptoms are hunger denial, lack of emotions, and social withdrawal.

Causes of anorexia nervosa.

There is no true known cause of anorexia. It is believed to be a combination of various factors. The psychological factors can range from obsessive-compulsive personality to perfectionism. It is thought that if a family member has or does suffer from anorexia then relatives may be at higher risk. Our society has emphasized being thin. This has been associated with success and beauty. This can also be a factor in the cause of anorexia, especially in young girls.

Stages of anorexia recovery.

The anorexia recovery stages begin when someone has noticed that there is a disorder issue.

Pre-contemplation stage.

This stage begins with the person does not acknowledge that they have a problem. Symptoms have been noted by family and/or friends and brought to the attention of the person and other loved ones. The person may choose to refuse to discuss the issue. If that is the case, don’t become confrontational. Continue to be aware of the symptoms and don’t revert to being in denial. Share your thoughts and concerns but don’t justify the behavior.

Contemplation stage.

When the person begins to admit there is a problem, he or she becomes open to getting help. Because there is an underlying emotional issue, change may be difficult, but the recovery process can begin.

This is the best time to reach out to a Christian counselor. Through a faith-based treatment plan, the person can begin to understand the underlying issues. This will also help with promoting the thought process of how it is no longer needed to help him or her cope.

When your loved one reaches this stage, it is important to become educated about the disorder and not try to fix the problem yourself. Be a good listener and if you can, join a local support group for encouragement.

Preparation stage.

When the person is ready to change and willing to admit he or she needs help, the preparation stage has begun. The person wants to change but is not sure how to proceed. This is where the new coping skills will be established.

Action stage.

This stage is where the person begins to implement the strategies he or she has learned. He or she is ready to face the disorder and start new behaviors that will help him or her along the way to recovery. Support is essential to this stage. It is also important to remove triggers and reinforce the changes without judgment.

Maintenance/Relapse stage.

Entering this stage reflects that the person has remained in the action stage for about six months. During those six months, the person has intentionally sought to engage in new behaviors and coping skills. He or she will revisit triggers to prevent relapse. Continued positivity is a must as well as praise for the success.

Termination stage.

To terminate the process of anorexia recovery the person must ask himself or herself the following questions.

  • Have I mastered the Stages of Change in the major areas of my eating disorder?
  • Have I acquired the necessary coping skills to maintain the recovery changes?
  • Do I have a prevention plan in place in case of a relapse?
  • Will I be willing to resume treatment if necessary in the future?

There is always help for those who suffer from anorexia nervosa. It takes patience and willingness to choose recovery and work through the stages. The Christian counselors in San Diego can help with getting you and your loved one on the path to anorexia recovery. Contact San Diego Christian Counseling today to schedule your initial risk-free appointment.

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