While most people today could correctly identify anorexia nervosa as a major health issue among young women, many still do not comprehend the severity of the disease. Killing nearly 20 percent of those who suffer from prolonged illness, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.
Written in accessible but medically accurate prose, Anorexia provides a detailed explanation of how the diagnosis of anorexia is made, common physical and personality characteristics of those affected by the illness, and both short and long-term complications.
Anorexia takes the discussion a step further than similar books on the subject by placing the disease in context with a broad survey of the history of self-starvation from Antiquity to the present, and it tackles the difficult question of whether anorexia nervosa existed before the 19th century or is a uniquely modern disease. The book evaluates in detail the social, economic and cultural environments within which self-starvation has occurred historically, and it analyzes competing theories of the disease's origins—including sociocultural, developmental, biochemical, and genetic hypotheses. The book also provides coverage of several often overlooked topics, such as the incidence of anorexia among young men, and it makes use of the personal narrative of an anorexic throughout to give the reader some sense of what it feels like to have anorexia and what someone with anorexia may be thinking.
Stacy Beller Stryer is a board certified pediatrician at Children's First Pediatrics in Rockville, MD, and a consultant and regular contributor to the online health website, www.revolutionhealth.com. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale University School of Medicine. She spend several years working with children and adults with mental illnesses, both in private and public settings. She has worked with the Indian Health Service, serving as a staff physician and coorinator of the Kayenta Service Unit's health promotion/disease prevention program, and has served as a consultant for the National Institues of Health Office of Science Education and Matthews Media Group. residency at Children's Hospital of Northern
Reviews "Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, professionals/practitioners, and general readers."—Choice
"This reference for high school and up examines the history and issues of anorexia nervosa, with special focus on sociocultural and economic changes over the past century that have contributed to anorexia. Coverage includes theories about causes of the condition, diagnostic criteria and warning signs, stages of the illness, characteristics of those who develop it, medical complications, early and modern treatments, prevention, and future research. Chapter-opening quotes from the diary of one high school student, along with brief excerpts from books by other sufferers, give readers an understanding of what it’s like to have anorexia. Other features include a timeline, a list of online information sources and support organizations, and a glossary." —SciTech Book News
"A helpful glossary and a useful bibliography round out the practical information found in this title. Anorexia provides general and basic information that is useful to students and anyone interested in learning more about this disease."—ARBAonline