Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which people intentionally starve themselves because of an irrational fear of gaining weight (Levey, Williams-Wilson and Corfman, 2030; National, 1993). Individuals with this disorder also have a distorted perception of their body shape and size and see it as much larger than it really is. Anorexia nervosa has a long history, being described more than 300 years ago by Richard Morton in 1689 as a condition of "Nervous Consumption" which he attributed to "sadness, and anxious Cares". In 1873, physicians described it as "hysteria linked to hypochondriasis" and "a perversion of the ego" and the conditions became officially known by its current name of anorexia nervosa. Early in the 20th century, it was considered a purely psychological disorder, then it was proposed that a pituitary disorder led to weight loss in some of these patients, and others considered it a physiological disturbance with a psychological etiology.

Various theories of the cause of anorexia nervosa were elaborated, such as Bruch's view that mothers failed to confirm their child's independence needs, causing inner confusion and leading to an overestimate of their body size and an inability to recognize signals from the body regarding appetite, hunger, satiety, affective states and sexual feelings (Levey, Williams-Wilson and Corfman, 2005). Bruch also held that self-starvation represented a struggle for autonomy, control, competence and self-respect.

Palazzoli had similar views to Bruch but postulated that patients with anorexia nervosa experience the body as "the maternal object, from which the ego wishes to separate itself at all costs." Crisp believed in a developmental model, with the psychopathology of anorexia nervosa stemming from biological and psychological experiences revolving around achieving adult weight (Levey, Williams,-Wilson and Corfman, 2003). This view purported that a conflict about attainin...

Page 1 of 11 Next >

More on Anorexia nervosa...

APA     MLA     Chicago
Anorexia nervosa. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:15, April 22, 2019, from