What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is prevalent especially among young women and, increasingly, among young men. Marked by a distorted sense of body image and extreme voluntary starvation—and closely associated with perfectionism and depression—it is the most deadly psychiatric disorder. Anorexia is highly resistant to treatment, and when the starvation becomes life-threatening, the usual recourse is hospitalization with forced feeding.

Recent Posts on Anorexia Nervosa

How to Help Someone With an Eating Disorder

By Emily T. Troscianko on November 09, 2015 A Hunger Artist
What should you do if you think or know that someone you care about has an eating disorder? What shouldn’t you do? What can you do?

The Mysteries of Habit

Neuroscience research brings together seemingly unrelated conditions...anorexia, OCD and substance use disorders...which may share common -- and difficult-to-modify -- brain circuits related to habit learning.

The Importance of Accepting Painful Emotions:

Getting good with feeling bad goes a long way in the recovery from an eating disorder. Patients often have pre-existing anxiety and/or depression. But, disengagement from emotions is different from an anxious or depressed mood. Feelings matter before, during and after recovery. Emotional awareness and expression in relationships are key in recovery and in bonding.

Is Anorexia a Choice?

New brain-imaging research sheds light on the question of how people struggling with eating disorders make decisions around food.

Medical Marijuana: The Science Behind THC and CBD

Although marijuana remains a Schedule I substance with the Drug Enforcement Agency, medicinal marijuana continues to make headway in today’s medical society and is stirring up controversy. Only in the past couple of decades have scientists begun to understand the specific medical benefits of the two main ingredients in marijuana: THC and CBD.

Why Control Won’t Bring You Happiness

By Emily T. Troscianko on September 28, 2015 A Hunger Artist
The process of successful recovery can be split into three phases: deciding and beginning to eat more and get better; continuing to eat more and get better physically and psychologically; and allowing recovery to flow into the life beyond it. Each bears a distinct relationship to the idea of control.

Manipulation in Families with Eating Disorders

It is extraordinarily difficult and wearing for family members to deal with a child with an eating disorder. When manipulation enters, it is easy to lose recovery ground. Understanding and responding to manipulation with compassion and authentic expression can be achieved.

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

Dieters have been discouraged from frequent weighing because lack of progress can decrease motivation and weighing oneself may be linked to eating disorders. It's been suggested that dieters limit their weighing to once per week but new research suggests that this advice may be misguided.

A New Approach for Chronic Anorexia Nervosa

By Paul Rhodes Ph.D. on September 10, 2015 Post Clinical
Can a focus on quality of life, rather than a cure, offer new hope for those suffering from severe and enduring anorexia nervosa?

How the "Bonding Potion” Oxytocin May Cure Anorexia Nervosa

Oxytocin is widely known as the bonding hormone for its effects on love and lust between two people in a relationship. Many studies have been performed to determine whether this love potion can aid in psychological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and depression.Oxytocin is making a big impact in science and is currently being researched to treat eating disorders.

Taking, Losing, and Letting Go of Control in Anorexia

By Emily T. Troscianko on August 18, 2015 A Hunger Artist
Control is central to many experiences of anorexia. How might exploring unpredictability help us uncover its dark sides and weak spots?

Eating Disorders Online: Support or Triggers?

Much of the public learned about pro-ana and pro-mia websites from an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show back in 2001. When people go online for information and support about eating disorders, does what they find help or make them worse?

5 Ways to Measure the Fitness of Your Exercise Mindset

Moderate exercise is associated with benefits on mood, anxiety, cognition, and sleep. But how much exercise is too much exercise? Here are 5 ways to evaluate your exercise pattern and mindset to ensure that you are working towards true physical and psychological health.


In and out of psychotherapy since age 14.

Do You Have an Undiagnosed Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is a time bomb waiting to go off—and it may be about to go off in your life.

All People With Eating Disorders Are Underweight, Right?

In today’s society, most people have been personally affected by someone who has struggled with an eating disorder. Yet, our image of the typical person struggling with an eating disorder is often incredibly narrow and often inaccurate. We must broaden our view of what a person with an eating disorder “looks like” to honestly understand their experiences.

Recovering from Anorexia: How and Why Not to Stop Halfway

By Emily T. Troscianko on February 22, 2014 A Hunger Artist
How do you get past the in-between stage of having regained some weight but probably not enough, past the distressing limbo between sickness and health? What do you do when you know you're not well again yet but you fear going any further?

My mother and I: a radio interview on anorexia

Read the transcription of an interview about my anorexia for the BBC Radio Scotland series 'A Life in Limbo'.