Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that is most commonly characterized by an inability or unwillingness to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsession with not gaining weight.  In most cases anorexia strikes teenage girls, though older women and occasionally men can suffer from it as well.  It is approximately 10 times more common in women than men.  Though the disease of Anorexia Nervosa was scientifically identified in the 1870s (and symptoms had been described centuries earlier), it first came to widespread public attention with the death of singing star Karen Carpenter in 1983.

Parents of teenagers, particularly teenage girls, should be alert to the onset of symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa, as early treatment can be a significant factor in protection of future health and promotion of recovery.  Anorexia Nervosa is a life-threatening condition that has become much more commonly reported in recent years.  One of the difficulties parents often have in dealing with anorexics is the difference between their perceptions of their body and the reality.  Symptoms of anorexia can include:

Physical Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Serious weight loss
  • Intolerance of cold
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Swollen cheeks and swollen joints

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Behavior symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Obsession with calories
  • Unwillingness to eat with a family or groups
  • Baggy clothing
  • Purging

Treatment typically consists of three phases: first, restoration—working to restore the anorexic individual to a healthy weight; second, therapy—focused on treatment of the underlying psychological issues that led to the problem; and third, modification—changing the behaviors and thinking that trigger anorexia.  In some cases medications are prescribed, which tends to focus more on increasing weight rather than treatment of the causes of the disease.  Patients who respond favorably to treatment tend to have the disease for less than two years.

To learn more about Shepherd’s Hill Academy, please contact us or fill in the online inquiry form. You can also call us at (706) 703-4188. Be sure to view the Programs pages of our website. If our program is full, or not the right fit, we can help you find the right program for your child.

Jesus looked at them and said “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” – Matthew 19:26

With God’s goodwill, Shepherd’s Hill Academy has helped students with ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder), DTD (Developmental Trauma Disorder), anger-management, anxiety disorders, Bipolar disorder, behavioral disorders, phobias, at-risk youth, struggling and troubled teens, emotional issues, learning disabilities, physical and sexual abuse, depression, negative peer pressure, rebellious behavior, and other disorders certain health care providers could not accommodate.

Though most of our students come from states in the southeast like Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), South Carolina (SC), North Carolina (NC) and Texas (TX), we’ve enrolled teens from the southwest in states like Arizona (AZ), New Mexico (NM), and California (CA), in the midwest and northwest, Illinois (IL), Nebraska (NE), Minnesota (MN), and Washington (WA). We can enroll teens throughout the U.S.