When someone has anorexia, the way they view food and the way they view themselves is different than someone who doesn't have anorexia. This is because anorexia nervosa is a mental health problem that changes the way you think.
This type of eating disorder can affect anyone, at any stage of their life. Statistics show that it is more commonly reported in young women, however there are increasingly more reports of men, boys and older women being affected.
Anorexia can be misunderstood, especially by the media. Many believe it is simply when someone takes a diet too far. In fact, eating disorders often come about because of other, underlying issues. These may include low self-esteem, a poor sense of self-image and/or feelings of depression and anxiety. These issues can be very difficult to cope with and in some people, an eating disorder becomes their way of coping. Being able to fixate on their weight, something that they can control, feels easier than processing the other emotions.
What often happens is that sufferers become trapped in this way of thinking and truly believe that they are overweight and that they need to lose weight. For those with anorexia, this leads to certain behaviours like limiting the amount of food they eat, purging after eating and/or over exercising.