What is Social Anorexia?

What is Social Anorexia?

In trying to deal with or fit in certain lifestyles, people put into place things that may be detrimental to their lives. The most common problem th

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In trying to deal with or fit in certain lifestyles, people put into place things that may be detrimental to their lives. The most common problem that goes without notice is anorexia nervosa. It is an eating disorder where the victim avoids eating any substantial amounts of food. This leads to malnutrition and poor health. Besides that, there is a myriad of adverse effects that manifest in the patient suffering from this eating disorder. The condition is fatal if left addressed conclusively.

Social Anorexia

This is a terminology that comes from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. In social circles, the term social anorexia means chronic withdrawal from people or social events. The victim suffers a syndrome that inhibits his or her social movement beyond the typical absence. As such, people may mistake it for other mental and psychological disorders like depression. Since most of the patients are adolescents, people equate it to the traits of the rebellious stage.

Causes of Social Anorexia

Generally, the causes of social anorexia are in two categories. The first one is genetic or biological background. Irregular hormones may be a link to the withdrawal character. When you expose yourself to the eating disorder, your body mechanism gradually deteriorates. This, in turn, makes you psychologically imbalanced and hyper-reactive. Since you feel inferior to others, your coping mechanism of choice becomes withdrawing. Again, personality traits can be a challenge in dealing with this condition. People with passive personalities find it easier to restrict their interaction with others.

External factors also aid in social anorexia. The cultural exposure plays a significant part in turning someone into an anorexic. Childhood traumas put pressure on a person without his or her knowledge. Childhood harassment haunts a person in adulthood typically. If you do not get regular counseling, this could be fatal. Also, peer pressure and social media can trigger social anorexia. The constant pressure to fit in a group may lead to an inferiority complex that drives one away from the public.

Symptoms of Social Anorexia

Since this social disorder resonates closely with the eating disorder, the manifestations are almost similar. Some of the significant symptoms are:

no appetite

1. Restrictive Eating

The victim develops a poor dietary pattern that harms his or her body functionality. Eventually, the malnourishment gives way to a weak immune system and severe weight loss.

2. Anxiety

If the problem stems from peer pressure, the victim will suffer mental stress. The inability to fit or identify with a group will linger in mind. If nothing is done, the anxiety can slip into depression.

3. Unilateral Seclusion

The victim makes a habit of avoiding any social function. This can be as little as regular family meetings or visiting friends.

Effects of Social Anorexia

1. Anger

People with social anorexia suffer bouts of rage most of the time. They perceive the public as working against them in all aspects of life. In return, they will fight back to repulse back anyone who comes in to offer help.

2. Illnesses

Social anorexia brings about poor relations. With poor relationships and anger, you expose yourself to stress-related diseases. Some other life-disorders like stroke and hypertension may prey on you.

3. Poor hormonal balances

Since you have poor eating habits and an unstable psychological mindset, you may get irregular menstrual cycles.

4. Poor communication skills

In times of isolation, your anger blocks you from appreciating any good deeds from your family or friends. Most of the time, being in denial prevents people from helping out.

5. Low libido

There is a correlation between social anorexia and lack of having sex. The hormonal imbalances, weak interaction, and inferiority complex all lead to refusal to intimate with anyone.

6. Amenorrhea

In extreme conditions, the victim may suffer the inability to have menses in her reproductive years. This complicates the matter by increasing anxiety levels.


Several aspects help in dealing with this disorder.

1. Cultural stereotypes

Some cultures look down upon the feelings of certain genders or age segment. Thus, it becomes difficult for someone to express their inner feelings freely without stigmatization.

2. Social aspects

The need to resonate with certain socialites is an even bigger problem. Many people retire to their cocoons because of this inability. So there is a need to address the repercussions of social and peer pressure groups.

3. Counseling

woman undergoing counseling

Most of the victims of this disorder are in denial. It takes a process for them to admit they need help. The process of healing starts by gaining their trust. Be gentle and show care as your progress in the healing journey. Counseling without stigmatization helps.

4. Medication

This will depend on the severity of the problem. Once the victim is opening up to help, it is good to seek medical checkups. It will help address the vital issues that psychological help cannot arrest.


In summary, social anorexia is a silent killer. Few people address its fatal implications in the manner it deserves. But some societal groupings are out to help. If nothing is done to expose the dangers of this disorder in time, we may lose many lives unknowingly.

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