Anorexia Nervosa Essay example

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Anorexia Nervosa

Leads to significant weight loss
DSM-IV(the main diagnostic manual for mental disorders) describes four main characteristics of anorexia)
1 – LOW WEIGHT(refusal to maintain a normal body weight)
2 – BODY-IMAGE DISTORTION(distorted self-perception)
3 – ANIEXTY(fearful of gaining weight)
4 – AMENORRHOEA(stopping menstruation)

Psychodynamic approach

Suggests unconscious motivations
A.N may be a reaction of sexual abuse – If a person is sexually abused they may then loathe their body for appearing attractive to an abuser, A.N is a way to help destroy the body and so make it less attractive to others
A.N may reflect a reluctance to tale on adult responsibilities – A.N prevents females developing breasts/hips – instead of gaining a womanly shape they remain physically childlike so are able to remain dependent on their parents for longer
May reflect low self-esteem – Very low self-esteem may cause a person to believe their needs (in this case food) to be wrong in some way, or that they’re not worthy of having food. They then deny themselves food
A.N may battle against controlling parents – Bruch found that parents of anorexics tend to be domineering. Anorexia might be an attempt to regain some control by manipulating the one thing they have control of – their body

Behaviour Explanation

Classical Conditioning – Learned association through eating and anxiety since it can make people overweight, often to phobic proportions. Losing weight helps reduce the