Eating disorders are not new. Anorexia Nervosa was first formally diagnosed in 1874, and the symptoms have been observed as far back as 300 years ago.(Walsh and Devlin 1) Although the condition has been known for centuries, it seems to be center stage now during the last decade or so. What is behind Anorexia? Is it inherited? Is Anorexia caused by some type of mental illness, or maybe environmental pressures? Does culture play a role in whether or not someone suffers from Anorexia? These questions are not easily answered,as we know if we have had any family members or close friends who have suffered from Anorexia. It's not as easily diagnosed as the measles or chickenpox, where the doctor knows exactly what the cause is. We will discover that there is no one clearcut cause for Anorexia.
According to Women's Health Weekly one research study collected blood from 200 families where at least two of the siblings were suffering from Anorexia, several of the test results suggest a possible link between Anorexia and a shared suseptability gene found in many of the siblings (10) . We must keep in mind that although this research is promising it is still as of yet incomplete data, which in essence makes it a theory. This by no means suggests that there is not a biological link, but that more research needs to be done.
There have also been a connection made between Anorexia and mental illness. Indeed recent research has discovered a strong link between Anorexia and several psychiatric disturbances such as; depression, agoraphobia, and social phobics to mention a few. The most promising connection is that many Anorexics are responding to a wide variety of psychiatric medication(Nagel and Jones 2). Although the numbers are not in yet, the fact that many of these people are responding to medication suggests a solid connection between mind and body. If we look at just a couple of behaviors many Anorexics display it does very much mimic that