Anorexia Nervosa - A case study

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Abnormal psychology, Major depressive disorder Pages: 9 (2997 words) Published: March 26, 2014

Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa, a type of eating disorder common among young ladies as stated in The New York Times Health Guide. According to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre, more than 90 percent people in the United State diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa were female. It can be categorized as refusal to maintain a minimal body weight, fear in weight gain, body image distortion and loss of menses as mentioned in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Hagman, et al., 2011). Those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa usually avoid eating. Their perception on body shape and weight differs from others. They may be underweight to society; however, to them they are always fat. To reach their ideal body shape and weight, anorexic client will follow a strict diet and exercise excessively. According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, there are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa; restricting type and binge-eating/purging type (American Psychiatric Association , 2000). Client under the category of restricting type usually stick with a strict diet where they only consume food with low calorie level. They exercise excessively and at times fast; whereas for binge-eating/purging client, they usually induce themselves in vomiting and misuse of laxatives. Humans have the tendency to assess their personal characteristics and abilities by comparing themselves to others (Hamel, Zaitsoff, Taylor, Menna , & Grange, 2012). Clients compare by looking and perceiving themselves as fat and ugly resulting in social anxiety and causes depression. Social anxiety is the fear in facing others where the client themselves think and feel that they will be embarrass (Hedman, Strom, Stunkel, & Mortberg, 2013). Anorexic client faces social anxiety due to having the perception that others will look at their large distorted figure and might laugh at it. On the other hand, depression is defined as a cluster of specific symptoms with associated impairment as stated in the journal article, “Depression in Adolescence” which also stated that depression is notably in girls after puberty; it causes one to feel sad and down on nearly everything surrounding them including themselves (Thapar, Collishaw, Pine, & Thapar, 2012). Anorexia nervosa client usually diagnosed with depression, as they are upset and unsatisfied with their look. There are many kinds of depression; one of it is major depressive disorder. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans age 18 and above are diagnose with major depressive disorder which made up to one out of four adults (Mental Health Information & Organizations, n.d.).

The client, “Nadia” was a 19-year-old female college student working her way towards a bachelor degree. She resided in an apartment that is within walking distance to her college and is only able to visit her immediate family whenever there is at least a 3-day break. Nadia had a close relationship with her younger sister whom she grew up with. Her transition to college was tough as Nadia not only had to leave her sister but her close friends as well. She spent the majority of her time studying, socializing with her peers, exercising, and trying out the various clubs in her college.

Nadia described herself as a cheerful and carefree person before entering college. She had a close relationship with members of her family as well as several close friends. She was active in co-curricular activities and did well in terms of academically. In addition, she maintained a healthy body weight and had no symptoms of eating disorder or mental health problems. Nadia’s immediate family reports neither history of mental illnesses, nor any history of suicidal or homicidal ideation or attempts in the past and present. Nadia had an insignificant medical history. She was never hospitalized and reported no history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.


References: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Eating Disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder IV (IV ed., pp. 583-589). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder). In A. P. Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (Vol. IV, pp. 450- 456). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Hedman, E., Strom, P., Stunkel, A., & Mortberg, E. (2013, April 19). Shame and Guilt in Social Anxiety Disorder. PLoS One, 8(4), e61713. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061713
Heimberg, R
Wildes, E. J., Righam, M. R., & Marcus, D. M. (2010, July). Emotion Avoidance in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: Initial Test of a Functional Model. The international Journal of Eating Disorders, 43(5), 398-404. doi:10.1002/eat.20730
Appendix A
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