Anorexia Nervosa Essay by Spapacon

Anorexia Nervosa
A look at the cognitive and the behaviorist models for classifying anorexia nervosa.
# 26894 | 1,566 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2000 | GB

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This paper provides insight into anorexia nervosa, a mental illness where individuals refuse to eat in pursuit of losing weight due to their intense fear of being fat. It looks at the two types of anorexia nervosa, the primary and secondary form and examines some of the physical symptoms that patients incur such as pallor, emaciation, weakness, muscle fatigue, lanugo (a growth of fine body hair) and amenorrhoea as well as heart complications. It looks at how there are several psychological models which can describe anorexia and focuses on the cognitive model and the behaviorist model. It shows how behavioral therapies are based on the assumption that mental disorders are maladaptive behaviors which have resulted from faulty learning and how the cognitive model concerns itself with the internal processes of thought and the role played by expectations, attitudes and the interpretation of events.

From the Paper:

"Anorexia nervosa is not the result of an overnight decision. This is why it is so difficult to become aware of until it has advanced to a substantial degree. It generally starts off as a harmless diet, usually without the intentions to starve oneself. In spite of that, if a person has certain predispositions, it may gradually result in anorexia. This is because as the diet progresses, the individual may experience some kind of "dieting euphoria" because this kind of lifestyle provides them with a sense of control for two reasons; an external and an internal. The external reason is that it provides a sense of "mastery and euphoria to a person who previously not only felt weak but depressed and empty" (Richard A. Gordon). And the internal reason is the accomplishment of a thin body is appraised by today's society. However the feeling of euphoria that is experienced is relatively short-lived. In fact, the longer the fasting lasts, a sense of depression gradually takes over to the degree where it becomes a dominant mood. Eventually, the anorexic will go to any extremes in order to conceal and defend her low weight and minimum appetite."

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Anorexia Nervosa (2003, May 19) Retrieved April 17, 2024, from

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"Anorexia Nervosa" 19 May 2003. Web. 17 April. 2024. <>