Restrictive Anorexia is when someone restricts their diet to the point of starvation and have an intense fear of gaining weight. They have an abnormal pre-occupation of food and food issues.
Eating disorders in general are often linked with a low self esteem and low self worth. Someone suffering may feel that they have no control over something in their life and the only thing they feel they have control over is their food.
They have a false belief that by managing body weight and shape they will be happier.
In truth they are chasing the impossible because once they reach a weight the problems are still there so they strive for a bigger weight loss. The weight loss becomes a medical risk and the control is 'out of control'. If weight loss drops to a severe/critical or life threatening level then the control is lost and the eating disorder has total control over you!
If someone is at a critical level or life threatening level then that person's medical condition becomes the priority and emotional support or counselling will not be offered until that person is stablised and their weight is at an acceptable level. This will vary depending on the area in which you live but it is considered that a BMI of over 16 is acceptable to start to engage in therapy.
A good outcome for recovery is when a eating pattern established, weight is improving at a steady pac, their suffering becomes socially integrated and steps are put in place to make changes in to their life.
If someone has had a lifetime of living with an eating disorder then often it is more realistic to gain management over their illness. They should feel very proud of the changes they have made and the responsibility they have taken to ensure their medical safety.
Any improvement should be seen as a positive with focus being on the 'cup is half full - not half empty'!