Another problem that some adolescent girls suffer from is anorexia nervosa. This condition involves a refusal to eat, generally leading to severe loss of weight. It is a serious psychological disorder in which the victim, even after extreme dieting, still sees herself (or, in rare cases, himself) as being overweight although looking painfully thin to others. The disorder mainly affects adolescents, although it can occur in adulthood.
A contributory cause of anorexia nervosa is sometimes pressure from advertising and the media, which holds up a slim figure as a fashionable ideal. However, many experts believe that the condition stems mostly from an unwillingness on the part of the adolescent to come to terms with physical and sexual maturity.
The longer the condition continues the harder it is to treat. Hospital treatment is recommended in severe cases when a supervised diet is needed as well as psychotherapy. Usually girls suffering from anorexia cease to menstruate and their breasts shrink. Menstruation returns only when the anorexic girl starts to eat again and restores her body weight to something near normal.