Centre of Excellence for Eating Disorders Tübingen (KOMET)


Address: Osianderstr. 5
72076 Tübingen

Phone number: +49 7071 29-86719

Fax number: 07071 29-4541

E-mail address: komet@​med.​uni-​tuebingen.​de

Anorexia nervosa (anorexia)

(Anorexia Nervosa)

The term anorexia nervosa comes from the Greek. Anorexia translates as lack of appetite, nervosa means that the disease is psychological. Colloquially, the disease is also called anorexia or anorexianervosa.

Are you affected?

There are many different signs of anorexia.

To the checklist

With what symptoms does anorexia manifest itself?

Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by significant restrictions on food intake, weight loss and a great fear of gaining weight. The disorder often begins with seemingly harmless dieting behaviors, such as skipping sweets or reducing eating amounts. As the disease progresses, sufferers then develop increasingly compulsive and rigid rituals in relation to eating and exercise behavior. These include, for example, meticulous calorie counting, abstaining from food or drink, and adherence to strict dietary rules. Some sufferers exercise extremely vigorously to boost calorie consumption. Some sufferers also take additional laxatives or dehydrators or induce vomiting after eating to lose weight.

People with anorexia mostly have a distorted perception of their body. They perceive themselves as too fat, although they are objectively too thin. Their own self-worth depends on a low weight. Extreme weight loss can have serious health consequences, even life-threatening ones.

Girls and young women are often affected by anorexia. However, boys, men and older people can also suffer from anorexia.

Therapy and treatment

Treatment options

How an eating disorder is treated depends on the type and severity of the disorder. Generally speaking, there are three different treatment options available: outpatient, day clinic/partial inpatient or inpatient treatment.

Learn more

Treatment at KOMET

As a competence center, we provide treatment for  children, adolescents and adults with eating disorders within the framework of outpatient, day-clinic and inpatient services in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy and the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy.

Do you have any questions?

Feel free to contact us at the following e-mail addresses:

Checklist: Could I (or my loved one) be anorexic?


Could I (or my loved one) be anorexic?

There are many different signs of anorexia. The following is a list of some of them. If some of them apply to you or someone close to you, it may be an indication of anorexia. However, this list is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis. Only professionals can answer the question of whether anorexia is actually present. Therefore, if you suspect that you are suffering from anorexia, urgently contact your family doctor's office, a counseling center or another appropriate point of contact.

The following checklist is adapted from the guidebook for relatives Help with Anorexia and Bulimia by Dr. Rita Hermann and Dr. Annette Immel-Sehr.

People who
suffer from anorexia
, ...

  • ... are very thin or lose a lot of weight in a short time
  • ... eat very little or restrict their food quantities and food selection
  • ... feel too fat, although they are underweight
  • ... make their self-esteem dependent on their body weight and figure
  • ... often exercise excessively
  • ... may also induce vomiting or take laxatives.
  • ... constantly think about food or their own body
  • ... often do not perceive their eating behavior as problematic
  • ... are often perfectionistic and ambitious
  • ... often have depressions and anxieties
  • ... often have irregular menstruation

Do you think you or someone close to you is affected by an eating disorder?

Do you recognize yourself or someone close to you in the checklist?

If you have the impression that you yourself may be suffering from an eating disorder, you should urgently seek help. The first place to go might be your family doctor's office, a counseling center, or a clinic. Perhaps you feel quite queasy at the idea of opening up to a professional or are even very afraid of doing so. In this case, it may help you to first confide in a person close to you and let him or her accompany you.

If you suspect that someone close to you is suffering from an eating disorder, you should act and seek out the conversation. You may not know how best to broach this sensitive subject. We have put together some tips for you that may be helpful in an initial conversation.

Sometimes it is not easy to correctly assess a potentially critical situation. Perhaps they are unsure whether you are interpreting the affected person's behavior correctly and are afraid of "accusing" them falsely. Seek counseling if you are unsure. You can turn to the same counseling services as the affected person.

When a loved one suffers from an eating disorder, it can be very stressful for family members in some circumstances. Think about yourself, too, and how you can do something good for yourself. If the worries and fears about the person in question become too great and burdensome, it can sometimes happen that relatives do not manage to recharge their own "battery". In this case, do not hesitate to seek help yourself.

Certificates and Associations

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