Public awareness is far behind what current research has discovered about Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The whole journey of the condition starts well before the medically diagnosed stage which is what is generally seen in the media and recovery continues well after the weight is put back on.
The whole journey starts with a genetic predisposition to AN. The trigger is always weight loss (for whatever reason) which then starts the cycle of involuntary avoiding eating, losing more weight which causes the sufferer to irrationally avoid eating and lose more weight and so on.
The recovery must first be to regain weight in order to eliminate the physical and psychological effects of starvation, only then the true character of the person could be restored, and the understanding, self-discovery and acceptance of the condition could begin. This recovery journey is long, longer than the initial spiral down, and it has many bumps and relapses along the way. Practicians warns that some may develop periods of binge-eating*. However, recovery is possible back to the highly functioning and successful person that once was there. Awareness and management of the condition is a lifelong journey to prevent relapses.
* The Founder’s daughter did not experience binge-eating during her recovery, which the Founder predominantly attributed to the consistent feeding of both the body and the mind outlined in Practical Tips> Early Intervention