Orthorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which an unhealthy obsession about consuming only healthy foods develops.
WHO GETS ORTHOREXIA NERVOSA?
Orthorexia affects both men and women, at any age.
Most families benefit from family help aimed at supporting and managing any difficult relationships. Family work is helpful and encouraged, depending on your ability to cope
In many of the cases, orthorexia begins with the desire to improve one’s overall health or to overcome a certain chronic illness. An individual can start off by following a “normal” diet, which would restrict carbohydrates or protein only diet, but in extreme cases this can lead to orthorexia. Orthorexia occurs when the restrictions of diet dominate the individual’s thoughts and they become their primary obsession. Diets restriction such as those followed by vegetarians, vegans and rawfoodists have been linked as potential starting points for both orthorexia and anorexia nervosa. For some individuals, attempting to follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet in order to improve their overall health can be the starting point for both orthorexia and anorexia nervosa. Orthorexia can also be motivated by a wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, safety from poor health and a compulsion for complete control.
Symptoms will vary, however, the following are common:
This obsession with healthy food can crowd out other interests and activities, impair relationships, and even becomes physically dangerous since it can lead to malnutrition and/or starvation.
Orthorexics evaluate their self-worth according to their eating practices, much like anorexics, therefore therapy must include working on setting realistic expectations for themselves, improving their self-esteem and educating the client about proper nutrition. However orthorexics consider drugs to be impure and unnatural, which makes treatment tricky.
Even after many years with the illness, you can recover and go on to live a full life but you must want to recover.