There is a DEFINITE difference. I can't explain it precisely. It's a MENTAL difference. As weight drops rapidly, the brain starts distortion in thinking. It's the distortion of thinking that's the main difference. When that distortion kicks in, obsession and compulsion take over in a different way. Isolating onself from social eating begins as well as isolation in general. Anorexia requires a total mind shift away from actual survival because the person has made a mental shift to turn off the pangs of hunger that keep us alive. When the weight drops so low, cognitive functioning is impaired. Anorexia, from what I understand, is a psychological coping mechanism when life is out of control. It's the one thing, sometimes the last thing a person FEELS they have control over. Losing weight in general requires focus, but cognition remains in tact, When weight loss deprives critical nurishment to the brain, however, rational thinking is impaired. Flirting with anorexia is like hanging out on a street where heroin is being sold. A person only walks down that street if the sorrow and pain of life has put him there. And if a person finds himself there, he or she must leave quickly because everything that person loves and cherishes can be destroyed if they stay.