'No such thing as a Fat Anorexic'

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staticas
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Today one of my friends honestly tried to convince me that there's "no such thing as a fat anorexic" I was instantly shocked.. her argument was "I've never seen a fat person with anorexia."

I tried to explain to her that it is an eating disorder, and doesn't take effect straight away on everybody..but she didn't believe me. (She is very ignorant and seems to think she knows it all)

When did people become so ignorant as to think that anorexia only occurs in extremely thin people?!

But maybe I am wrong..what do you think?
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techno-thriller
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I thought it did
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Tyrion_Lannister
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The same reason people think anyone with a mental illness is an axe weilding maniac. Unfortunately mental ilnesses have loads of prejudices and misconceptions
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neunundneunzig
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Well, you can be fat and have the symptoms of anorexia nervosa, but eventually the sufferer would (most likely) end up pretty thin...
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x__justmyluck
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Technically to be diagnosed with anorexia one of the criteria is to be 85% of a healthy weight or less. So for a diagnosis of anorexia, you do have to be thin.
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Thorax
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EDNOS not anorexia.
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Truefaith
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Yikes do people not realise people turn thin DUE to anorexia


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CM19
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Anorexia is a mental disorder, as a result of anorexia the sufferer would then become extremely thin, but this could take months.

This kind of ignorance really bugs me. People used to call me anorexic because I was a small size 6, it has NOTHING to do with weight, it's a mental illness.
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Effy.
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I'm siding with your friend.
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hslt
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(Original post by staticas)
Today one of my friends honestly tried to convince me that there's "no such thing as a fat anorexic" I was instantly shocked.. her argument was "I've never seen a fat person with anorexia."

I tried to explain to her that it is an eating disorder, and doesn't take effect straight away on everybody..but she didn't believe me. (She is very ignorant and seems to think she knows it all)

When did people become so ignorant as to think that anorexia only occurs in extremely thin people?!
I refer you to the ICD 10 criteria for diagnosis:

http://www.mentalhealth.com/icd/p22-et01.html

Having a lower weight than expected is a diagnostic criteria for anorexia. Along with other physical/hormonal effects. It's a mental illness, but it has physical symptoms and signs without which it can't be diagnosed.

If the full criteria are not met, then 'atypical anorexia' can be diagnosed - in practise though, a diagnosis of bulimia is more likely to be correct in the situation that someone has a normal BMI as these conditions are chronic, and anyone with a long term eating disorder fulfilling the criteria for anorexia WILL (by definition) lose a lot of weight.

EDIT - in fact, I refer all of the above to the same criteria. Perfectly happy for someone to explain why I'm wrong, but this is what I was taught when I did my psych placement a few years ago.

Double edit - a bit more reading informs me that atypical anorexia is a research diagnosis, not a clinical diagnosis, so clinically you have to have a low weight to be diagnosed with anorexia. Source -- World health organisation http://www.who.int/classifications/icd/en/GRNBOOK.pdf
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staticas
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(Original post by CM19)
Anorexia is a mental disorder, as a result of anorexia the sufferer would then become extremely thin, but this could take months.

This kind of ignorance really bugs me. People used to call me anorexic because I was a small size 6, it has NOTHING to do with weight, it's a mental illness.
Thankyou! It is mental, nothing to do with weight. You do eventually lose weight, but there is definitely such thing as an overweight anorexic.


(Original post by hslt)
I refer you to the ICD 10 criteria for diagnosis:

http://www.mentalhealth.com/icd/p22-et01.html

Having a lower weight than expected is a diagnostic criteria for anorexia.

EDIT - in fact, I refer all of the above to the same criteria.
But anorexia is an eating disorder, scientifically I suppose yes you have to be thin. But that is only to be diagnosed. Nobody is going to worry about your weight if you're overweight and anorexic, nobody will notice until you're severely underweight. I think this is a big reason for anorexia being so common, overweight people will lose weight, and rather than worrying, family and friends seem proud and encourage them, leading them to carry on - and become severely underweight.
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Mousemeastro98
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Actually, I think the term 'anorexic' just means does not eat enough. 'Anorexia Nervosa' is the the mental disorder. A fat person couldn't have anorexia, it would be EDNOS because they wouldnt fit all the criteria one of which -someones already said- is to have a body weight less than 85% of what it should be.
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Truefaith
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(Original post by Mousemeastro98)
Actually, I think the term 'anorexic' just means does not eat enough. 'Anorexia Nervosa' is the the mental disorder. A fat person couldn't have anorexia, it would be EDNOS because they wouldnt fit all the criteria one of which -someones already said- is to have a body weight less than 85% of what it should be.
Im pretty sure anorexic is some one with anorexia nervosa.


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Ameliapond
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never thought that was possible

I suppose you learn something new everyday
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WaceMindu
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Both sides have valid points.

As I understand it (backed up after just reading ICD10) you have to be under a certain BMI to be diagnosed anorexic (or anorexia nervosa).
So a larger woman would probably not be diagnosed a full blown anorexic until her BMI became very low, or at least her GP noted weight changes.

Though you do have a point with it being a mental illness and weight loss just being a symptom, so whilst your friend may be technically correct in the sense that the girl wouldn't be labeled anorexic, I see what you mean that she kind of is.
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hslt
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(Original post by staticas)
But anorexia is an eating disorder, scientifically I suppose yes you have to be thin. But that is only to be diagnosed. Nobody is going to worry about your weight if you're overweight and anorexic, nobody will notice until you're severely underweight. I think this is a big reason for anorexia being so common, overweight people will lose weight, and rather than worrying, family and friends seem proud and encourage them, leading them to carry on - and become severely underweight.
Whats the difference between bulimia and anorexia?
In both you have long periods of starvation, but in bulimia your weight doesn't change because you binge occasionally too, in anorexia it does.

So yes, I see your point that you could have early anorexia while you are losing weight, but quite quickly you will be underweight, and if you never become underweight without ever binge eating then it's not medically that worrying since you must be eating the right amount!!!
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Chihiro95
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It's strange that to be diagnosed as a bulimic you don't have to be underweight.
I lost 70lbs, went from overweight to just underweight but I wouldn't say I had an eating disorder til I was afraid of food, obsessing over calories, purging everything I ate and fasting when my gag reflex was ****ed. I knew I had an eating disorder because my happiness was determined by the loss and gain of weight and the smell and sight of food distressed me.

So yeah, I agree with you that weight shouldn't be used to determine if someone has an eating disorder.
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Chihiro95
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(Original post by hslt)
Whats the difference between bulimia and anorexia?
In both you have long periods of starvation, but in bulimia your weight doesn't change because you binge occasionally too, in anorexia it does.

So yes, I see your point that you could have early anorexia while you are losing weight, but quite quickly you will be underweight, and if you never become underweight without ever binge eating then it's not medically that worrying since you must be eating the right amount!!!
Your weight can drop a lot if you're bulimic.
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MJ1012
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(Original post by staticas)
Thankyou! It is mental, nothing to do with weight. You do eventually lose weight, but there is definitely such thing as an overweight anorexic.




But anorexia is an eating disorder, scientifically I suppose yes you have to be thin. But that is only to be diagnosed. Nobody is going to worry about your weight if you're overweight and anorexic, nobody will notice until you're severely underweight. I think this is a big reason for anorexia being so common, overweight people will lose weight, and rather than worrying, family and friends seem proud and encourage them, leading them to carry on - and become severely underweight.
I think that it should be diagnosed whenever they are mentally unhealthy, however, it does make sense that anorexia isn't a problem until it causes one.
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staticas
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(Original post by MJ1012)
I think that it should be diagnosed whenever they are mentally unhealthy, however, it does make sense that anorexia isn't a problem until it causes one.
I completely agree with this. Nobody seems to worry until it seems like a big problem, and a threat to their health. But it is a threat to your health as soon as it begins.
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