Anorexia NervosaAnorexia is a progressive eating disorder characterized by the inability to consistently maintain adequate body weight, an intense fear of becoming obese, and an unrealistic, negative body image. Despite an emaciated waif-like appearance, individuals with anorexia "feel fat" and continue to want to lose weight in order to feel more secure. In order to lose the weight, sufferers fast or eat very little.
Anorexia can kill. Starvation causes the gradual deterioration of physical health and eventually can lead to a system-wide failure of the body and to death.
Individuals with anorexia are often seen as perfectionistic. They set unrealistically high expectations for themselves in many areas of their lives. These expectations often lead to stress, low self-esteem, and loss of control. Anorexic restrictive eating is seen as an attempt to feel "in control". See also eating disorders, chronic dieting, compulsive overeating, and bulimia.