Anorexia nervosa is a disease of food that affects mainly young people, but what is its origin?
Anorexia nervosa, is a disease where there is a reduction in the amount of food ingested voluntarily, which comes to put at risk the health of the person itself.
This disease is framed within the group of psychological disorders of the diet, where there is an excessive weight loss, being able to take the patient to a state of malnutrition and in the most extreme cases until death.
In this disease, which starts from pre-adolescence, there is a hereditary and hormonal component, but the most important cause is the psychological component, sustained by an intense fear to gain weight, which leads to restrict your food, Being subjected to excessive diets and exercises.
It is also common to use diuretics, enemas and laxatives; Having a worse prognosis when there have been cases of feeding problems or anxiety disorders during childhood.
Among the symptoms associated with this disease are those of malnutrition, loss of body fat, weight, bone weakness, dry mouth, muscular atrophy and yellow skin.
The psychological field, the patient has confusing thoughts, memory problems and depression.
The treatment of this disease must be carried out mainly from the psychological point of view, being also necessary the medical intervention to alleviate the negative consequences of the malnutrition, as well as to treat pharmacologically states Depression and anxiety that usually accompany this disease.
Within the range of therapeutic tools used in psychological intervention, cognitive behavioural therapy is emphasized, either applied individually, family or collectively (support groups).
Through this therapy is treated, firstly that the patient recognizes his illness, as well as the need to seek solutions, also work on healthy eating habits, setting rules regarding the schedule of eating, limiting the Physical exercise and learning to fight the negative thoughts that keep that behavior.
From the psychoanalytic point of view, anorexia is not a clinical picture but it is a symptom that can come from:
-a melancholy, with denial of food intake.
-a paranoia, with serious disturbances of his body image, with intense fear to be poisoned and therefore does not eat.
-a catatonic state, where the appearance of death is anticipated.
For Freud It is a typical symptom of hysteria due to a childhood neurosis, reaching to call hysterical starvation. Where the rejection of food is related as a way of hindering sexual drives.
As we see the thoughts of the patient will play a decisive role, both in the appearance and maintenance of anorexia nervosa, where there are distortions in terms of body image, denial of feeding, hyperactivity or exaggerated fear Fat.
Some have pointed to the role of social influence, especially aesthetic aspects, such as fashion, the origin of this psychological disorder, the reference people of social success are thin models, which normally "boast" of its figure thanks to a A certain diet and a lot of exercise.
Other authors refer to an intrafamilial origin, initially called Anorexigéneas families, characterized by being fused, rigid, dedicated to self-sacrifice and group loyalty. Families that tend to avoid conflict, not solving the problems that are generated, but ignoring them, which increases internal tensions.
It has also been pointed out that its origin is not so much the type of family, but how the relationships are lived within it, and there is an important difference between the experiences of the parents and the children.
It has also been related the appearance of this disease, with the figure of a perfectionist mother and a parent peripheral or absent, where there is great difficulty in communication, with excessive loyalty and family dependence.
Doctor of Psychology, Master in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Clinical Hypnosis Specialist. Recognized by the International Biographical Center (Cambridge – UK) as one of the top one hundred health professionals in the world in 2010. He also teaches in various national and international universities
Scientific disseminator participating in congresses, conferences and seminars; collaborator in various papers, digital media and radio programs; author of the blog “Advanced Open Learning in Psychology and Neuroscience, and twenty books on diverse subjects.
Currently he conducts research in the field of Big Data applications in healthcare utilizing data from India, United States and Canada, among others, work which he complements with consultancy to technological startups geared towards psychology and personal wellbeing.