World Mental Health Day just passed on October 10, but that doesn’t mean that mental health issues and disorders like anorexia nervosa can be ignored for the rest of the year.
Anorexia nervosa has been in the spotlight recently due to the infamous Anna Rexia Halloween costume that has many health experts and activists (and anyone who has any common sense about eating disorders) in an uproar. And it’s in the news every week in some way, considering the constant battle of body image and mental health activists against society’s promotion of weight obsession and the thin ideal.
In order to keep World Mental Health Day alive every day, it’s necessary to continue its purpose, which is to raise “public awareness about mental health issues,” according to the World Health Organization’s website. “The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services,” an article on the website also stated.
You can continue the trend of World Mental Health Day by learning the basics about anorexia nervosa and spreading the word.
Anorexia nervosa is a type of mental disorder that belongs in the category of eating disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s website, “an eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating.”
There are a lot of other characteristics associated with eating disorders as well, such as an obsession over body size and weight, and feelings of being out of control when it comes to food and dieting. Specific criteria used to diagnose people with anorexia can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Anorexia nervosa specifically is defined by an abnormal and unhealthy sense of body image and self-esteem, extreme diet restrictions, a fear of adding on any pounds, and a determination to get to unhealthy level of thinness (although to the person with anorexia nervosa it seems like the perfect body shape), according to the website.