Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) by the following criteria:

  • Restriction of food intake leading to weight loss or a failure to gain weight resulting in a "significantly low body weight" of what would be expected for someone's age, sex and height.​
  • Fear of becoming fat or of gaining weight.​
  • Have a distorted view of themselves and of their condition. Examples of this might include the person thinking that he or she is overweight when they are actually underweight, or believing that they will gain weight from eating one meal. A person with anorexia might also make excuses or deny that there is a problem with being at a low body weight. These thoughts are known to professionals as "distortions."

There are two subcategories of Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Restricting Type: This is a subtype that is typically associated with the stereotypical view of anorexia nervosa. The person does not regularly engage in binge eating.​
  • Binge-Eating/Purging Type: The person regularly engages in binge eating and purging behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting and/or the misuse of laxatives or diuretics. The binge eating/purging subtype is similar to bulimia nervosa; however, there is no weight-loss criterion for bulimia nervosa. As in previous editions of the DSM, anorexia nervosa "trumps" bulimia nervosa, meaning that if a person meets criteria for both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa that anorexia nervosa (binge-eating/purging type) is diagnosed.

More information and national help for eating disorders can be found here.

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