Anorexia is an emotional illness. It alters the thinking of the victim in many ways. Anorexics believe that being thin is the most important thing in their lives. It become the biggest part of their existence and they fear that without it they will be nothing.
Society's pressure to be beautiful has an immense effect on a young person. Girls are aware of what "pretty" means before they enter kindergarten and quickly discover where they stand in relation to the other girls. As a girl moves through elementary grades she will discover, if she is deemed "pretty," that boys pay more attention to her, she is more easily accepted, thought to be smarter, and her teachers are nicer to her.
Upon diagnosis, it must be determined if long-term treatment and/or hospitalization are required. Hospitalization would be warranted if there is excessive and rapid weight loss, metabolic disturbances, depression or risk of suicide.