Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

Written by: Mª José Moreno Magaña
Edited by: Top Doctors®

One of the main problems of anorexia nervosa is the denial of the problem that exists in many cases. This means that professional help is not sought or that it is too late, so that the physical and psychological damage can be very serious. Recognize the problem is very important to achieve healing. In fact, it is the indispensable first step of the treatment, recovering the right weight comes right after. The most appropriate treatment combines cognitive therapy with behavioral therapy. In order to devise the best therapy, it is essential to know the origin of anorexia nervosa.

The causes of anorexia nervosa are multiple and affect each patient differently. In addition there are risk factors that Levine Smolak (2006) and Stice (2002) support empirically:

First, genetic factors. It has been proven that in families that have people with anorexia nervosa there are more eating disorders, more depression and more psychopathology.
The causes of anorexia nervosa are multiple



Like genetic, socio-cultural factors are one of the main and indisputable causes of anorexia. Currently the desired body image is based on thinness. The internalization of the ideal of thinness contributes to body dissatisfaction , for being an unattainable ideal. This idea creeps into our environment and into ourselves, fostering discontent with our own body.

These ideas arise especially in the pubertal and adolescent age. The corporal changes of this stage oblige us to fix our attention on our own body and to integrate it into the general self-image. Insecurities and complexes emerge and it is at this stage when the adolescent compares his image with the corporal aesthetic model fixed socially as "perfect".

This results in body dissatisfaction. If you have had a bad image of the body since childhood, it is more likely that when faced with real or imagined overweight slimming behaviors begin. Being criticized or mocked because of appearance in childhood can also influence our image There are many cases in which patients admit that the jokes of family and friends were the trigger of their disorder.

Finally, there are aspects of the character or state of mind that can also influence the origin of the disease. On the one hand, low self-esteem. People with anorexia nervosa have an extremely low self-esteem, feelings of being an unworthy person and very afraid of being rejected. Given the great importance attributed in our society to physical appearance, and especially weight, it is not difficult for young boys to adopt the point of view that all their value depends on having a perfect body and they devote all their efforts. On the other hand, perfectionism. People who are very demanding with themselves and have the goal of perfection, if they apply this criterion to everything related to eating, weight and body will probably develop an anorectic disorder.




*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Mª José Moreno Magaña

He is a psychologist with extensive experience in treating eating disorders. In addition to the race, I do a master in Behavioral Intervention in Health Psychology from the Complutense University of Madrid and is currently Professor of Clinical Psychology and Master of Health in ISEP.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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