Some of the characteristics of anorexia are dangerously low weight and behavior meant to prevent any form of weight gain, which often results in malnourishment. This eating disorder primarily affects women and may lead to mental health problems.
Knowing potential predisposing factors allow you to help a relative or friend get treatment for anorexia nervosa. Here are some of the behaviors to watch out for.
If a person has a first-degree family member who has a history of having an eating disorder, it increases the risk of someone getting one. The onset of adolescence may also increase the risk of getting anorexia nervosa because of the neural and hormonal shifts that an individual goes through during the ages of 10 to 20.
Other than biological factors, the psychological aspect of this eating disorder plays a big role in whether a person gets anorexia. Someone struggling with the following has a heightened risk:
- Poor self-esteem and body image,
- Feeling inadequate in whatever he or she does,
- Hyper-competitive attitude,
- Impulsive decision making,
- Has a difficult time expressing his or her emotions, and
- Always looks for the approval of others.
A person who has a biological predisposition to an eating disorder is further at risk because of the psychological factors listed above.
The culture of a city or country may tip a person into developing an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa. Some of the risk factors include:
- Too much pressure to succeed,
- Unrealistic portrayal of a certain body image, such as thinness,
- Overvaluation of appearance,
- A culture of bullying and teasing about body shape, and
- Pressure from social circles (friends or family).
These are some of the factors that increase the likelihood of getting anorexia nervosa or other forms of eating disorders. Knowing how to identify these allows you to take positive action.