Specific areas of the brain govern the mood and perception of one’s body. The anxiety that characterizes the behavioral manifestations of persons with anorexia nervosa has been traced back to these brain areas, which have been the subject of numerous studies.
Anorexia and brain circuitry
While psychotherapy approaches argue that behavioral interventions can affect real change in the eating habits and body image issues of persons with anorexia nervosa, some scientists insist there are other concerns. Changes in brain circuitry, which ultimately determine expressed behavior, must be considered as well. Medical professionals now offering eating disorder help and support services must consider these results, as well as those presented in other key studies on anorexia nervosa.
A disorder of mood
Shame, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and denial characterize the mood of persons with anorexia nervosa. All these feelings complicate the management of the disorder. While self-starvation is the dominant and most obvious feature, the motivation to react in such a manner to food, and to the act of eating, is influenced by deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. Identifying the presence and extent of these mood disorders can determine whether a treatment or intervention program is successful.
It is never simple
Anorexia treatment is never simple. Self-induced vomiting may be the only problem at first, but it can quickly escalate into a refusal to eat. In some cases, the team and family may have to help the person deal with clinical depression. Attempts to commit suicide may arise in time. Lack of proper nutrition and poor intake of food that provide the nutrients necessary for proper cell function may lead to severe medical problems affecting the organs.
Psychotherapy outcomes offer significant changes in behavior and attitude, and for many, lead to remission. Nevertheless, treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa is always a multifaceted affair. Seeking appropriate, timely, and effective treatment can be challenging, but you can help your loved one by finding the best fit for them.