Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder. It usually looks like a strong fear of gaining weight and extreme negative body image. It affects people of all genders, ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Understanding this complex condition is crucial for both those experiencing it and their loved ones. We at Evolve Wellness are experts in treating Anorexia and are here for you or your loved one to help you navigate treatment. As you learn more and have questions, we welcome you to reach out. 

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia is more than just a diet gone wrong or a desire to be thin. It’s a psychiatric disorder with potentially life-threatening consequences. Individuals with anorexia nervosa have a relentless pursuit of thinness, leading them to severely restrict their food intake, often to the point of starvation. They may also engage in excessive exercise and other behaviors to control their weight.


  • Extreme Thinness: People with anorexia often weigh less than what is healthy for their age and height.
  • Intense Fear of Weight Gain: Even when underweight, individuals with anorexia may see themselves as overweight.
  • Distorted Body Image: Often there is a distorted perception of body size, seeing themselves as fat even when they are thin.
  • Restricted Eating Patterns: Severely limiting food intake, counting calories obsessively, and avoiding certain foods or food groups.
  • Preoccupation with Food: Constantly thinking about food, planning meals meticulously, and avoiding social situations involving food.
  • Excessive Exercise: Engaging in compulsive or excessive exercise routines to burn calories and lose weight.
  • Physical Health Issues: Anorexia nervosa can lead to a range of health complications, including cardiovascular problems, electrolyte imbalances, osteoporosis, and hormonal imbalances.
  • Psychological Symptoms: Depression, anxiety, irritability, and perfectionism are common psychological symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa.


The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, but it is likely influenced by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

  • Genetic Factors: Individuals with a family history of eating disorders may be at a higher risk of developing anorexia nervosa.
  • Biological Factors: Imbalances in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and appetite, may contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa.
  • Psychological Factors: Low self-esteem, perfectionism, and a desire for control are common psychological traits.
  • Environmental Factors: Cultural pressures emphasizing thinness, societal attitudes toward body image, and traumatic experiences such as childhood abuse or bullying can all play a role.

Treatment Options

Treatment typically involves an approach that will address both the physical and psychological parts of the disorder.

  • Medical Intervention: Medical monitoring is essential to address the physical complications of anorexia nervosa.
  • Therapy: Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and family-based therapy (FBT), can help individuals challenge their distorted beliefs.
  • Nutritional Counseling: Working with a registered dietitian can help to develop a healthy relationship with food and balanced eating patterns.
  • Medication: Antidepressants or other psychiatric medications may be prescribed to help with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.

Anorexia nervosa is a complex and potentially life-threatening eating disorder that requires comprehensive treatment. By raising awareness, challenging stigma, and access to effective treatment, individuals with anorexia can recover 100%.

If you or someone you know is struggling with anorexia nervosa, it’s essential to seek professional help and support. Recovery is possible, and no one has to face it alone.


Reach out to us today. We are happy to discuss treatment options that are right for you.