04/15/2024, 21:21, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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The addiction to starve, an ailment that grew into a modern disease, whose Latin name, anorexia nervosa, is already known among laymen, is becoming increasingly fashionable. In Austria, about 200,000 women develop an eating disorder, at least once in the course of their lives; At least 2,500 girls and young women suffer from anorexia nervosa.

While the anorexia was known only to an elite circle of physicians until a few centuries ago, it is now regarded as a widespread mental disorder, which is increasingly affecting young girls and women. This is, on the one hand, explained by the pursuit of thinness of industrialized countries, which has a considerable influence on the experience of self-esteem of young girls and women. On the other hand, there is the contradictory role of women with which they are confronted in today´s society.

The anorexia nervosa is characterized by a deliberately caused weight loss due to extreme diets or other weight-reducing measures. The desire to lose weight and the clear fear of gaining weight distinguish them from other forms of undernourishment. It is paired with a distorted image of one owns body: those affected have a distorted relationship to their weight and figure as well as a distorted perception of their own body appearance. In addition, severe physical symptoms occur as a result of the starving.

Behind the superficial non-eating, which at first may seem banal and incomprehensible for outsiders are unconscious psychological conflicts. This makes the anorexia nervosa a complex, neurotic disease which takes its own body as an enemy image....

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