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Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia Nervosa

With the increasing presence of the ideal body image floating around in our everyday lives, many are beginning to worry about their weight. Focusing on a healthy lifestyle is not a problem and is good for one’s health. But sometimes, weight loss can take a violent turn that can lead people down the path of an eating disorder if not handled carefully.

Eating disorders can have disastrous effects on a person’s body and mind. According to the most recent statistics, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate compared to the other psychiatric disorders and affects around 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2000 men. Let's explore some anorexia nervosa facts to learn more about it.

Anorexia nervosa: definition

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Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that causes a person to maintain a very low weight.

A person with anorexia nervosa may reach a stage of being very underweight by over-exercising or suppressing their diet. People with anorexia often think they are overweight, even when this is not the case, and suffer from body dissatisfaction.

Anorexia Nervosa definition weightloss StudySmarterWeightloss, Flaticon

What are the characteristics of anorexia nervosa?

Psychologists have tried to characterise the symptoms of anorexia nervosa to help trained professionals such as therapists. Therapists can then use these as guidelines when diagnosing patients with eating-related disorders.

The DSM-5 criteria for anorexia nervosa

The DSM is a manual by psychologists that lists the different mental illnesses, and the characteristics that trained professionals should use to diagnose mental illnesses. According to the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, patients must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Fear of becoming fat or gaining weight

  • Have a distorted view of themself

  • Restricting how much they eat to stop them from gaining weight or help them lose weight

Anorexia Nervosa DSM-5 Diagnostics StudySmarterAn illustrative example of the DSM-V Manual, Sharon Thind - StudySmarter

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa

There are different types of anorexia nervosa. However, the only difference with atypical anorexia nervosa is that the individual is not underweight, but they may still have lost a lot of weight; every other symptom is the same.

Bulimia vs anorexia nervosa

A similar eating disorder to anorexia nervosa is bulimia. The difference is that in bulimia, sufferers eat a lot over a period of time and then force themselves to get rid of the ‘excess’ calories they have eaten. They sometimes take laxatives or enemas or force themselves to vomit.

Some examples of symptoms are:

  • Overwhelming fears of gaining weight

  • Body dissatisfaction

  • Use of laxatives or other methods to get rid of calories after eating

  • Weight and height under healthy levels for their age

  • Lower BMI

  • Poor circulation

  • Sleep issues

  • Dizziness and vertigo

  • Frequent headaches

  • Digestive issues

The problem with the similarities between eating disorders is that misdiagnosis can easily occur. As a result, the individual can receive the wrong treatment, which may exacerbate their disorder and/or symptoms.

What are the causes of anorexia nervosa?

Amongst psychologists, there are disagreements of what factors cause the onset of eating disorders. For example, biological psychologists argue that our genetic makeup causes such illnesses. In contrast, psychologists who take the social approach say that our environment and experiences may cause such illnesses.

Biological explanations of anorexia nervosa

Consider the following biological explanations.

Genetic explanations for anorexia nervosa

  • Family studies and twin studies show that genes influence the onset of eating disorders:

    • Research has found individuals have a higher risk of developing anorexia if an immediate family member has the same eating disorder (Strober, Freeman, Lampert, Diamond & Kaye, 2001).

    • Twin studies found a 56% concordance rate in Monozygotic twins (identical, have the same genes) and 5% in dizygotic twins (share 50% of the same DNA) for anorexia nervosa (Holland, Sicotte & Treasure, 1988).

  • Specific genes have been linked to anorexia:

    • We inherit our genes from our parents; a variant of the EPHX2 gene has been linked to anorexia.

  • Anorexia nervosa affects more women than men:

    • Women are more likely to report weight dissatisfaction than men.

Neuroanatomical explanations for anorexia nervosa

  • The dual centre theory-hypothalamic dysfunction:

    • The hypothalamus sends signals to the brain when we are hungry. However, research has shown disruptions in neural connections in the hypothalamus. Therefore, the brain may not be able to receive hunger signals well and, over time, cause the onset of anorexia. This is related to the glucostatic hypothesis (hunger and satiety are related to short-term shifts in glucose metabolism) and the lipostatic hypothesis (the fatty-acid concentration levels in the blood control the long-term food regulation).¹

  • Serotonin:

    • Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger). High levels of serotonin have been associated with increased feelings of anxiety, and serotonin usually is produced with food consumption. Reducing food intake lowers serotonin levels and makes people with anorexia feel better. Furthermore, people with anorexia have increased levels of serotonin before being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

  • Dopamine:

    • Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that is involved in reward-motivated behaviour. This theory suggests people with anorexia nervosa may have high amounts of dopamine, which causes anxiety. They may not seek pleasure, e.g. eating tasty food, so they can carry out avoidant behaviour, not eating food.

  • Neurodevelopmental, e.g. birth complications:

    • Several birth complications have been associated with anorexia, including maternal anaemia (iron deficiency), premature heart issues, and diabetes.

Anorexia Nervosa causes of anorexia nervosa dopamine chemical structure StudySmarterThe chemical structure of dopamine, Flaticon

Evaluation of the biological approach

Research evidence shows that our genetic makeup is involved in the onset of anorexia. However, it is not the only factor contributing to it (Strober, Freeman, Lampert, Diamond & Kaye, 2001; Holland, Sicotte & Treasure, 1988).

  • If this was the case, then a 100% concordance rate in twins and family-related individuals (the likelihood of two people who share the same genes of developing the same illness/disease) should be found.

Supporting evidence has found that people with anorexia tend to have dysfunctional neurotransmitters:

  • Serotonin: SSRIs are a drug that works by preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed. They have not been found to work as an effective treatment for anorexia.

    Although, Kaye et al. (2001) found that these effectively prevented relapse in recovered anorexic patients. This finding suggests that serotonin may be involved in the onset rather than the maintenance of the eating disorder. Still, we cannot conclusively say serotonin is the cause of anorexia. We can only say it is associated.

  • Dopamine: Leppanen et al. (2020) found that anomalies in the basal ganglia associated with the reward pathway and habit formation/learning exist in those with anorexia nervosa. As a result, people with anorexia may find it hard to ‘feel’ rewards, so they do not feel pleasure from eating.

Cognitive explanations for anorexia nervosa

There are multiple cognitive theories exploring anorexia nervosa.

Certain traits of anorexia nervosa

Certain traits and characteristics have been associated with anorexia:

  • Individuals with faulty thought processes concerning their weight.

  • People with a perfectionist personality and high levels of self-doubt: Fairburn et al. (1999) found perfectionism to be a common trait amongst those with anorexia nervosa when compared to other psychiatric disorders. Grave importance, especially in western society, is placed on controlled eating, and self-worth is judged based on shape and weight.

  • Individuals exposed to cultural and media norms of the ‘idealistic, successful thin’ person.

People with these traits also tend to have faulty schemas that lead them to develop a distorted image of themself and their bodies.

Cognitive mechanisms

The traits mentioned above can then lead to the following behaviours/cognitive approaches:

  • Taking an ‘all or nothing approach’ a cognitive distortion where they see everything as black-and-white, e.g., only eat ‘good’ food and avoid ‘bad’ food. Sufferers think they are fat if they can see some fat on their body, or think they over-ate because they feel full.

  • Overgeneralisation a cognitive distortion in which a person experiences or thinks of a negative experience and thinks it will be recurring in the future.

    An example would be thinking: ‘I’m fat because I always eat too much’.

  • Catastrophic thought a cognitive distortion where an individual overthinks a negative experience that may occur even though it is unlikely. They may also overestimate how bad an event or behaviour is or underestimate their ability to cope with a particular event.

    An example would be thinking that if they eat sugar, they will gain lots of weight or that they may not be able to stop themselves.

Under this psychological pressure, the person is easily influenced and sensitive. If someone gives them positive feedback about their weight, it encourages them to continue this maladaptive behaviour. Or, if the person starts on a restrictive diet and does not lose weight, this leads to negative feedback and may cause them to believe they need to be even more restrictive.

This thinking leads to a vicious cycle and causes the individual to fear food and weight gain, called Beck’s vicious cycle (1967).

Evaluation of the cognitive approach to anorexia nervosa

The strengths of the cognitive approach are:

  • Supporting evidence Fairburn, Cooper, Doll and Welch (1999) found that before the onset of anorexia nervosa, individuals had higher levels of perfectionism and a tendency to self-evaluate compared to the control group negatively.

  • The definition of anorexia is that people think they are overweight when they are not. This is an example of a faulty cognitive process and shows that cognitive processes should be studied to understand anorexia.

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy is the most common treatment type used for eating disorders, which shows that cognitive processes are involved in anorexia (Murphy et al., 2010).

The weaknesses of the cognitive approach are:

  • It focuses heavily on how people process and interpret information but disregards other factors like genetic influences or environmental factors. Therefore, the theory is reductionist.

  • A problem with research investigating the cognitive approach for anorexia is that it relies heavily on self-report techniques. As the approach argues that the individuals have a distorted view of themselves, the results may lack validity. This data collection method can cause ethical issues such as psychological distress.

Psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa

Consider the following psychological explanations.

Family Systems Theory

Anorexia Nervosa Family Systems Theory causes of anorexia nervosa StudySmarterFamily systems theory, Flaticon

Minuchin et al. (1978) applied the family systems theory to create the psychosomatic family model to explain anorexia nervosa. The model suggests poor family dynamics cause the onset of anorexia, which may cause psychological pressures/illnesses to manifest into physical illnesses.

This type of family is called the enmeshed family. The family members have an overly tight-knit relationship and are usually forced to act and think in a certain way. The model describes characteristics of the family that may lead to the onset of the eating disorder:

  • Autonomy family members are too involved in each other and boundaries are normally disregarded, this can lead to anorexia nervosa as the child may try to get some level of control over their diet habits.

The child may struggle to make decisions and habits on their own and so they may have difficulties deciding what they want to eat, when they want to eat and how frequent they should eat. This could occur as they are not used to making their own decisions and these can evoke the symptoms of anorexia.

  • Control family members may be overprotective and controlling.

The child may try to rebel and go against their parent by stopping to eat.

Social learning theory in anorexia nervosa

Social learning theory is concerned with how the environment acts as a good or desirable behaviour model. Observation, imitation and reinforcement are critical factors in social learning theory.

The role of the media

Another social influence that can contribute to the onset of anorexia nervosa is the media. The media plays a significant role in the way people internalise beliefs and attitudes about their self-image. They typically portray successful people as ‘pretty, skinny or muscular’.

People may then internalise the view that they also need to fit into these standards to succeed. Research has found that this can contribute to the onset of anorexia (Williams, Thomsen & McCoy, 2003).

Anorexia Nervosa Causes of anorexia nervosa social influence media StudySmarter

Media as a form of social influence that can contribute to the onset of anorexia nervosa, Flaticon

Consider the study by Becker et al. (2002), where adolescent Fijian girls were exposed to television on disordered eating attitudes and behaviours. Using a multi-wave, cross-sectional design, the study compared Fijian schoolgirls before and after exposure with a 26-item eating attitudes test.

They then underwent a semi-structured interview.

They found that disordered eating behaviours and indicators were significantly more prevalent following exposure to the media source, suggesting television negatively impacts eating disorders and behaviours. Interest in weight loss was often focused on modelling themselves around the television characters. The introduction of mass media in this culture influenced eating behaviours.

Evaluation of the psychological explanations and social explanations to explaining anorexia nervosa

  • Regarding the family role, Kramer (1983) found that people with eating disorders had issues with family dysfunction. This supports the theory put forward by Minuchin et al. (1978).

  • The treatment types used for anorexia highlight that the family plays a major role at the beginning of anorexia.

    • Liebman, Minuchin and Baker (1974) created a treatment programme heavily based on family therapy that did not require drug therapy.

  • Social learning theory is reductionist as it assumes that external factors such as the environment and the media cause anorexia. Therefore, the model ignores internal factors such as our genes and dysfunction in the brain that may cause this illness.

  • Social learning theory also does not explain why all women in western societies aren’t anorexic; only some women are.

  • It may be better to take a multifactorial approach, i.e., combine multiple approaches to explain phenomena.

    • An example of this is the diathesis-stress model, which suggests individuals may be genetically predisposed (vulnerable to develop) to anorexia, which psychological pressures from external forces may then trigger.

Anorexia Nervosa - Key takeaways

  • Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that causes a person to maintain a very low weight. They may over-exercise or suppress their diet.
  • Genetic makeup and neuroanatomical irregularities such as high serotonin and dopamine levels have been linked to anorexia.
  • The cognitive approach to explaining anorexia is that individuals with certain traits are likely to develop faulty schemas that lead to a distorted view of themself. Examples of cognitive distortions that people with anorexia may have are: taking an “All-or-nothing” approach, overgeneralising and catastrophic thinking.
  • The family systems theory argues poor family dynamics cause the onset of anorexia and psychological pressures/illnesses to manifest into physical illnesses.
  • The dysfunctional family associated with anorexia nervosa is called the psychosomatic family.
  • Social learning theory argues that anorexia may result from people modelling the behaviour they have observed and are imitating it.
  • The media has created an ‘unrealistic, idealistic’ image of perfect people, which has created psychological pressures that have contributed to the onset of the eating disorder.

¹G. R. VandenBos, APA dictionary of psychology. American Psychological Association, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions about Anorexia Nervosa

Characteristics of anorexia nervosa are:

  • Fear of becoming fat or gaining weight.
  • Having a distorted view of oneself.
  • Restricting how much one eats with the purpose to stop oneself from gaining weight or help lose weight.

The social causes of anorexia are:

  • Having a psychosomatic family
  • Media

The effects of anorexia are:

  • Weight loss
  • Negative self-value 
  • Psychological distress

The biological causes of anorexia are:

  • Inheriting a gene variant linked to anorexia (EPHX2).
  • Neurotransmitter irregularities such as high dopamine and serotonin levels.
  • The dual centre theory (hypothalamic dysfunction, specifically the glucostatic and lipostatic hypothesis).
  • Neurodevelopmental issues (birth complications).

Anorexia and anorexia nervosa are often used together, implying that they mean the same thing. However, anorexia nervosa is the clinical term for the eating disorder, referring to the use of nervosa, as this is a medical term (Latin, referring to the nervous system). 


This means that there is a diagnostic criterion that one must meet to suffer from anorexia nervosa.


Anorexia alone can be used to describe an aversion to food and does not have the same medical connotations.

Final Anorexia Nervosa Quiz

Question

What is anorexia nervosa?

Show answer

Answer

Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that causes a person to maintain a very low weight. They may over-exercise or suppress their diet.

Show question

Question

What is the DSM-5 criteria for anorexia?

Show answer

Answer

  • Fear of becoming overweight or gaining weight.
  • Having a distorted view of oneself. 
  • Restricting how much one eats to stop weight gain or lose weight.

Show question

Question

What is the typical view people with anorexia have of themselves?

Show answer

Answer

People with anorexia often think they are overweight, even when this is not the case.

Show question

Question

What is the DSM-5?

Show answer

Answer

The DSM is a manual by psychologists that lists the different mental illnesses, and the characteristics that trained professionals should use to diagnose mental illnesses.

Show question

Question

What is the difference between anorexia and bulimia?

Show answer

Answer

A similar eating disorder to anorexia nervosa is bulimia. The difference is that in bulimia, sufferers eat a lot over a period of time and then force themselves to get rid of the ‘excess’ calories they have eaten. 

Show question

Question

What is the issue of having psychological illnesses with similar symptoms?

Show answer

Answer

The problem with the similarities between eating disorders is that misdiagnosis can easily occur. As a result, the individual can receive the wrong treatment, which may exacerbate their disorder and/or symptoms.

Show question

Question

What is atypical anorexia?


Show answer

Answer

Atypical anorexia has all the same symptoms of anorexia nervosa, except that the person may not be underweight but has lost a lot of weight.

Show question

Question

What are the genetic explanations for anorexia?


Show answer

Answer

We inherit the variant of the gene for anorexia from our parents; a variant of the EPHX2 gene has been linked to anorexia.

Show question

Question

How do serotonin and dopamine affect anorexia?

Show answer

Answer

Both neurotransmitters have been linked to anorexia nervosa:

  • High levels of serotonin have been associated with increased feelings of anxiety, and serotonin usually is produced with food consumption. Reducing food intake lowers serotonin levels and makes people with anorexia feel better. Furthermore, people with anorexia have increased levels of serotonin before being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

  • People with anorexia nervosa may have high amounts of dopamine, which causes anxiety. They may not seek pleasure, e.g. eating tasty food, so they can carry out avoidant behaviour, not eating food.

Show question

Question

What is the hypothalamus’s role in anorexia?

Show answer

Answer

The hypothalamus sends signals to the brain when we are hungry. However, research has shown disruptions in neural connections in the hypothalamus. Therefore, the brain may not be able to receive hunger signals well and, over time, cause the onset of anorexia.

Show question

Question

What did Kaye et al. (2001) find?

Show answer

Answer

SSRIs are effective treatments for patients with anorexia.

Show question

Question

What is the family systems theory?

Show answer

Answer

The family systems theory suggests poor family dynamics cause the onset of anorexia, which may cause psychological pressures/illnesses to manifest into physical illnesses.

Show question

Question

What are the features of the psychosomatic family?

Show answer

Answer

  • Enmeshment.
  • Autonomy.
  • Control.

Show question

Question

What does the research say about the role the media plays in the onset of anorexia?

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Answer

Research has found that the media has created a stereotype of an ‘ideal’ person. Many internalise these views that can cause the onset of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (Williams, Thomsen & McCoy, 2003).

Show question

Question

What is an issue of both the biological and social explanations of anorexia?

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Answer

Both approaches are reductionist.

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Question

What is a multifactorial approach?


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Answer

It refers to combining multiple approaches in psychology to explain phenomena.

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Question

How does the diathesis-stress model explain anorexia?

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Answer

The diathesis-stress model suggests individuals may be genetically predisposed (more likely to develop) to anorexia, which psychological pressures from external forces may then trigger.

Show question

Question

Which of the following is an example of an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach?

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Answer

It’s okay to eat sugar sometimes.

Show question

Question

What is overgeneralising, in terms of anorexia?


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Answer

Overgeneralisation is a cognitive distortion in which a person experiences or thinks of a negative experience and thinks it will be recurring in the future. An example would be thinking: ‘I’m fat because I always eat too much’.

Show question

Question

What is catastrophic thinking?

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Answer

Catastrophic thinking is a form of cognitive distortion that involves:

  • The individual overthinking a negative experience that may occur even though it is unlikely.
  • Overestimating how bad an event or behaviour is.
  • Underestimating their ability to cope with a certain event.

Show question

Question

What is anorexia nervosa?

Show answer

Answer

Anorexia nervosa is a medically recognised eating disorder that affects a person's food intake and body weight. Those with anorexia nervosa often refuse to eat or restrict their eating, have an unhealthy fear of weight gain, and cannot maintain healthy body weight due to perceived self-image/body-image issues. 

Show question

Question

Does Bandura disregard the behavioural approaches?

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Answer

No, his theory incorporates aspects of the behavioural approach.

Show question

Question

What year was the SLT founded in?

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Answer

The SLT was founded in 1977.

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Question

What are the concepts of the SLT that can lead to the onset of anorexia? 

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Answer

The key concepts of the SLT approach are:

  1. Observation.
  2. Imitation.
  3. Modelling.

Show question

Question

How does the classical theory explain anorexia? 

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Answer

The individual may form an association between eating and psychological distress, which can cause avoidant behaviour and lead to anorexia.

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Question

How can positive reinforcement contribute to the onset of anorexia?


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Answer

If someone receives words of encouragement (e.g., ‘Have you lost weight? You look good.’), they are likely to continue the behaviour.

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Question

Which of the following statement is an example of negative reinforcement?

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Answer

A person skipping meals to stop themselves from feeling guilty for eating.

Show question

Question

What are the strengths of the SLT for anorexia? 

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Answer

  • Grabe et al. (2008) found that women exposed to media images about the thin-ideal body had body image concerns.
  • SLT approach is more holistic because it takes a multifactorial approach (uses more than one approach to explain phenomena) to explain anorexia, i.e., it does not try to over-simplify complex human behaviours. This model demonstrates that individuals genetically predisposed to anorexia (more likely to develop it) develop an eating disorder due to psychological pressures from external forces.


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Question

What are the limitations of the SLT for anorexia?

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Answer

  • This model ignores the importance of biological factors leading to the onset of anorexia. For example, Kaye et al. (2015) found that patients with anorexia had high levels of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia (region of the brain involved in reward processing).
    • Therefore, dysfunctional eating behaviour may result from dopamine irregularities in the basal ganglia.
  • One problem with this model is that not everyone who has such role models (role models that cause or encourage unhealthy eating behaviours, such as promoting the dieting culture the SLT explains as a possible cause of anorexia) develops anorexia. This idea suggests that the diathesis-stress model may provide a better explanation for anorexia.

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Question

What is an issue with an approach being regarded as reductionist?

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Answer

A problem with reductionist approaches is that they tend to disregard important factors that explain phenomena and over-simplify complex phenomena.

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Question

Who created the vicious cycle?

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Answer

Beck created the concept of the vicious cycle.

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Question

How does positive feedback affect anorexia nervosa?

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Answer

If someone gives someone under intense psychological pressure positive feedback concerning their weight, it may encourage them to continue maladaptive behaviour that contributes to the onset of anorexia.

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Question

Which of these is an example of positive feedback?

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Answer

‘You look good! Have you lost weight?’

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Question

Which of these is an example of negative feedback?

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Answer

‘You look good! Have you lost weight?’

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Question

What is the definition of Anorexia Nervosa?

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Answer

Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that causes a person to maintain a very low weight. This can be done by eating very little and/or exercising too much

Show question

Question

What are the 2 main areas of study that provide explanations for anorexia?

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Answer

Biological and Psychological explanations

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Question

What 3 explanations does the biological explanation of anorexia include?

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Answer

Genes (twin studies and the EPHX2  gene variant), neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) and neurodevelopmental (complications at birth).

Show question

Question

What 3 explanations does the psychological explanation of anorexia include? 

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Answer

Possessing certain traits (perfectionism or having faulty thought processes/schemas)

Cognitive/behavioural mechanisms ('all or nothing' approach, overgeneralisations and catastrophic thoughts) 

Family systems theory (psychosomatic family).

Show question

Question

What are the psychological treatments for anorexia nervosa?

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Answer

Show question

Question

What is the biological treatment for anorexia nervosa?

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Answer

Drug Therapy

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Question

What is the first phase of CBT for anorexia nervosa and what does it include?

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Answer

1. Behavioural Phase - The therapist work together with the patient to make a plan to stabilise eating and eliminate symptoms. Different coping strategies/tools are taught to the patient since emotions can sometimes get over whelming during the process, and afterwards too. 

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Question

What is the second phase of CBT for anorexia nervosa and what does it include? 

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Answer

2. Cognitive Phase - Cognitive Restructuring Techniques are introduced with the therapy's progression. Problematic thoughts and beliefs are identified, e.g. 'I will only be happy if I lose weight', are challenged. New thoughts and beliefs are introduced, e.g. 'my self worth doesn't depend on my weight'.

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Question

What is the third phase of CBT for anorexia nervosa and what does it include?  

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Answer

3. Maintenance and Relapse Prevention Phase - This final stage includes maintaining the progress made and preventing relapse, e.g. by reducing triggers. This helps the patient to go back to living a happy, fulfilling life, which is the aim of CBT. Even if they're not completely eliminated, once symptoms are stabilised, the therapy will move on to other areas of concern and work on holistic emotional well being.Healthier and more realistic ways of thinking will be encouraged by the therapist for the patient to adopt so that healthier behaviours can develop.

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Question

What did Fairburn (2009) find regarding the efficacy of CBT on Anorexia Nervosa?

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Answer

Fairburn (2009) conducted a very large study on the effectiveness of CBT on Anorexia Nervosa and found that 60% of patients with this disorder can be treated with CBT and 60% of those that are treated have had a good, effective outcome.

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Question

What is family therapy?

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Answer

Younger anorexic patients and children may be given the option of family therapy. This involves the therapist talking to the patient and their family to identify how anorexia has affected the patient and if there's any influence from a dysfunctional family. Then to help the patient get proper family support.

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Question

How does Olanzapine treat anorexia nervosa?

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Answer

Olanzapine works on reducing anxiety and obsessive thinking since some anorexic patients even feel like they can't function due to their rigid thinking and behaviour, which is lessened whilst on this drug. significantly slows metabolism, increases appetite and alters different homeostatic physiological functions. 

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Question

What does SSRS stand for?

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Answer

Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors

Show question

Question

How does SSRS treat anorexia nervosa?

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Answer

Because people with anorexia have high levels of anxiety and depression in the form of their negative, obsessive thoughts, they have a higher level of serotonin (which the biological explanation of anorexia has explained to be the cause of anorexia). This means that if SSRI's are used, they inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin and therefore, decrease its levels and treat anorexia.

Show question

Question

What did Bodell and Keel (2010) find regarding the efficacy of drug therapies in treating anorexia?

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Answer

Bodell and Keel (2010) found that overall, drug therapy has limited benefits in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, but there have been some promising preliminary findings of the effect of Olanzapine in treating anorexia. Drug therapy's more often target and are effective in the improvement of depressive and anxiety symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa, but not so much in the weight management/increase symptoms, and nor the harmful thoughts and beliefs symptoms.

Show question

Question

What is the definition of Anorexia Nervosa?

Show answer

Answer

Anorexia nervosa is a medically recognised eating disorder that affects a person's food intake and body weight. Those with anorexia nervosa often refuse to eat/restrict their food intake, have an unhealthy fear of weight gain, and cannot maintain healthy body weight due to perceived self-image/body-image issues. 


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