Cage. Behind a life with anorexia
"If you're not thin, you're not attractive."
"Maintaining weight is the most important thing."
Anorexia is a mental illness where the person feels an acute fear of gaining weight or gaining weight, presenting abnormal behaviours in terms of diet, weight, volume and body silhouette, having a distorted view of reality and itself. Prolonged fasting produces other derived pathologies, such as osteopenia, epilepsy, jaundice, behavioural alterations, depression, anxiety and sometimes aggressive behaviour. According to Red Cross reports, 1 out of every 100 women, the vast majority of whom are teenagers, suffer from anorexia. Some cases are taken to the extreme, becoming a chronic disease, causing work, social and family dysfunctions. At the same time, during the illness and the recovery process, both those affected and those around them suffer intensely.
Anorexia is an emotional disturbance that leads to the refusal to maintain body weight at average minimum values, causing the person to have an excessive and distorted perception of the body. This mental illness is part of the so-called Eating Behaviour Disorders, which, for the most part, developing within the family environment.
Piece of paper with drawings about self-perception. The patient creates them during a session with a psychologist.
The eating disorder is challenging to detect. It is common to discover problems during the late stages of the disease. The family must have all the possible information and strategies when facing the disease, as it is a fundamental pillar in the person's recovery. The helplessness, fear, anger; inability to deal with the situation - this what relatives are going through because they do not understand why the person acts in this way.
On the moment of publication, there were about 78 million results shown in the search engine about slimming products.
The simple act of eating is an effort that has to be faced every day — maintaining a balanced diet in kcal needed to stay alive. The word diet has its origin in the Latin language diaeta, which means the management of life.
It is necessary to check daily the taking of medicines by the family and that the patient follows the medical treatment and does not get out of control.
A mirror is used to check whether the body mass increased - one of the routine practices of the person with the eating disorder.
Those affected by anorexia are obsessed with weight control - they consume only necessary daily calories (basal metabolic rate). They eat between 500 and 800 Kcal a day (recommended average is ~ 1800 kcal) making food tables and mental calculations of calorie consumption in such a way that they limit their meals just to them. For example, an 11g biscuit is equivalent to 27 Kcal. Food for them is a number.
The easy access to social media and blogs with the content on anorexia where images, slimming methods, tips and tricks on how to trick family are easily accessible; slimming products and chats where people with this disease are encouraged and supported.
The patient has to be weighed at the doctor's office every month. Accidentally, there were butterflies glued to the wall in the office. A butterfly is the symbol of anorexia. It represents delicacy, fragility and beauty.
Another way of controlling the body are the rituals. These actions have been executed regularly and compulsively.
Anorexia is a disease that needs to be controlled by a psychiatrist and specialized medical professionals. Under controlled treatment, the endocrine specialist executes periodic check-ups where the patient's weight is controlled.
Group therapy for family members and patients with anorexia nervosa under the supervision of a psychologist. They increase the cognitive abilities of the relatives to help them to cope with it in daily life.
Instability and social problems make the person feel unhappy and makes it almost impossible to live a healthy life.
Psychiatrist and the patient discuss hospitalization. They decided on home-hospitalization to avoid admission fees. Nerea had to recover 1.600g; she weighed 36 kg.