Anorexia is an eating disorder where the main characteristic is the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal, normal body weight. Any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight is met with intense fear by the Anorexic. Not only is there a true feeling of fear, but also once in the grasp of the disorder, Anorexics experience body image distortions. Those areas of the body usually representing maturity or sexuality including the buttocks, hips, thighs and breast are visualized by the Anorexic as being fat. For some Anorexics, weight loss is so severe there is a loss of menses (failure to menstruate.) In the obsessive pursuit of thinness, Anorexics participate in restrictive dieting, compulsive exercise, and laxative and diuretic abuse.
If Anorexia Nervosa is left untreated, it can be fatal.