One of the eating disorders that affect a significant number of young individuals nowadays is anorexia nervosa. The etiology and treatment of this disorder are discussed below.
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Generally speaking, it is unknown which factors have the greatest impact on the development of anorexia nervosa in individuals, but it is claimed that a multitude of influences may stimulate or cause its development (Wooldridge, 2016). These include psychological, socio-cultural, and biological factors. For instance, it is known that anorexia nervosa displays a high degree of heritability, meaning that genetic factors play a significant role in its etiology. Epigenetic factors also may influence the development of anorexia nervosa (Wooldridge, 2016). Therefore, environmental factors, which impact the development of a person’s phenotype, may also contribute to this condition. In addition, obstetric issues are also known to affect the development of this disorder. Next, certain psychological and social factors also might stimulate the onset of anorexia nervosa. For example, it is averred that some ideas which exist in the society, such as the perception that a beautiful person has to be rather slim, may contribute to the development of self-deprecating thoughts and the complexity of inferiority, which might also contribute to the emergence of anorexia nervosa (Wooldridge, 2016).
It is rather difficult to treat an individual affected by anorexia nervosa. This may be related to the fact that the exact etiology of this disease is unknown, as well as to the possibility that its development is related to an individual’s perceptions and the resulting psychological state. On the whole, treatment of anorexia nervosa is focused on three key areas, namely, addressing the said psychological problems, attempting to restore them to a weight that would be healthy for that person, and dealing with the behaviors and attitudes which caused the emergence of this disorder (Wooldridge, 2016).
Wooldridge, T. (2016). Understanding anorexia nervosa in males: An integrative approach. New York, NY: Routledge.