This disorder is marked by an individual’s refusal to maintain a healthy body weight despite being severely underweight. People with anorexia nervosa often have a distorted perception of their weight and body shape, seeing their emaciated bodies as attractive or slightly overweight. They adhere to a strict, limited diet and experience an intense fear of weight gain. In women, weight loss is accompanied by amenorrhea (missing three consecutive menstrual periods). An estimated 5-20% of individuals with this disorder may die due to starvation or medical complications resulting from low weight and dietary restrictions.
Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, or excessive exercise.
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