Does Anorexia Nervosa Have Its Basis In Relationships?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The biggest problem with patients with Anorexia Nervosa is relapse. They don’t seem to bond with their therapists and don’t do what their therapists suggest. Dr. Nancy Zucker wanted to know why:

After combing through the literature, she discovered evidence that people with anorexia nervosa often have difficulty reading the emotions of others, and are often anxious in social situations. Published research also demonstrated a link between social dysfunction and poor treatment response.

“The research shows their relationship difficulties are not just a scar of the disease,” she says. “There is evidence that the social challenges predate their anorexia, and persist after they recover.”

According to Treatment Online, there’s hope:

Where Dr. Zucker’s efforts will come into play is in longer term treatment. The outlook for anorexia can be poor. Even those who succeed with treatment will tend to stay thin and continue to be preoccupied with food. While all treatments strive to address the psychological underpinnings that motivate the negative behaviors, a greater understanding of the interpersonal difficulties of those with anorexia could lead to more effective treatments of this variety.


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