Psychological Problems with Anorexia

As well as the numerous medical consequences of suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, the psychological problems are equally debilitating and sometimes more distressing. It is often the case that someone who develops an eating disorder begins with a diet, believing that weight loss will lead to improved self esteem, happiness and self confidence. Unfortunately the cruel reality is that persistent under eating, binge eating and purging does nothing to improve feelings of self worth.

Some of the psychological problems associated with anorexia include:

  • Depression that can lead to self harm and suicide.
  • Helplessness and feeling out of control.
  • Anxiety.
  • Self doubt.
  • Guilt and shame.
  • Feelings of failure.
  • Paranoia – thinking other people are watching and waiting to confront and interfere.
  • Secrecy and fear of discovery.
  • Obsessive thoughts and preoccupations.
  • Compulsive behaviours and rituals.
  • Feelings of isolation.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair. Wanting to give up. Suicidal thoughts.
  • Due to changes in the brain due to under nourishment, the person cannot always make rational or logical decisions or choices that they would be able to make when they are well. Recovery, once the process is begun, requires time for the brain to readjust – chemically and physically – to normal and healthy patterns of eating.