- Posted August 22, 2013 by
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Anorexia Diagnosis Tips
Anorexia, formally termed Anorexia Nervosa, is a form of eating disorder generally characterized by abnormal eating habits, an irrational fear of gaining weight, and extreme preoccupations with one's body shape or size. It is important to recognize and treat Anorexia because the disorder produces a variety of physiological symptoms that are harmful; in some cases, potentially fatal. While only a mental health professional can diagnose this condition, this article can help you tentatively identify Anorexia Nervosa and understand a part of the process by which the disorder is diagnosed.
In order for a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa to be made, the following four criteria must be met. Move through each and carefully consider whether or not the person in question matches the behavior and thought processes described.
Criteria #1. The second criteria in diagnosing Anorexia Nervosa is the presence of an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat .
Criteria #2. The first criteria in the Anorexia Nervosa diagnostic process is that the individual in question maintains a body weight that is below a minimally normal level for age and height . More specifically, this can be qualified in two ways:
- In childhood and early adolescence cases of Anorexia Nervosa, the child may fail to make expected height and weight gains.
- In late adolescence and adulthood, Anorexia Nervosa is evident in weight loss that results in being underweight. "Underweight" means that an individual weighs less than 85% of the normal weight for their age and height. "Underweight" is also defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 17.5 or less.
Criteria #3. The third criteria of Anorexia Nervosa is a severe distortion of one's body size and shape . This type of distorted self-perception can manifest in a few ways:
- Some individuals feel "fat" despite being underweight.
- Some individuals recognize that they are thin, but are unrealistically concerned about certain areas (e.g. abdomen, buttocks, thighs) becoming "fat."
Criteria #4. The fourth and final criteria used in diagnosing Anorexia Nervosa is the presence of amenorrhea . Amenorrhea is a condition in which adolescent and adult females suffering from Anorexia Nervosa stop menstruating. Prepubescent females suffering from Anorexia Nervosa may experience a delayed onset of menstruation.