Anorexia Nervosa

Category: Psychology
Author: Bendis

 In the case, which is told in the “Case in Abnormal Psychology”, there is a 19-year-old single woman, named Patty. The story of Patty begins with her obsession with her body in terms of weight when she was in high school. Inıtially, she was happy about her weight loss and this challenge motivated her. She saw this as success gained with her self-control and discipline. Then, her weight loss began to have a bad effect on her swimming career due to fatigue. Although she lost a lot of weight and her body index was far above the ideal value for her, she continued to do excessive amounts of exercises per day and food restriction. In addition, she became introverted and socially withdrawn because of her worry about social interactions at school. Since she was embarrassed by eating in front of others, she could not join the most common activity of socialization.

 Unfortunately, there were some other negative aspects of her situation. Her physical health is in serious danger as she became prone to illnesses and infections. For instance, she did not menstruate for several months, which is called amenorrhea. This impairment in menstruation is generally considered as an important sign of eating disorders. In addition, her bone density was in a dangerous amount. Indeed, it caused critical problems for her since she was a good swimmer. On the other hand, since she was not able to concentrate on her courses, her academic success also declined dramatically. With all of these, she is, of course, very depressed. Because of this, her sleep patterns were also distressed.

 When the case is examined as concerned integrative model, Patty has many personal characteristics. For instance, she is perfectionist, intolerant to negativity, and low self- esteem. Because of this, she is socially anxious especially in times of interpersonal conflicts. So, she constantly trying to please people and to be perfect to comply with her environment.

 When it comes to her treatment, she was very resistant. Also, her bad situation has advantageous for her in terms of attention. Even her ex-boyfriend made contact with her due her situation. Also, she constantly canceled the appointments of the therapist. Despite these, her therapist made great effort to use many types of efficient therapies for her insistently. Primarily, the first goal of the therapist was to bring back her weight to the level of low normal range with behavioral components. With psychoeducation, this early process was supported while the therapist showed Patty his admiration and empathy. Then, cognitive components were included to the therapy to change the distorted cognitions about body image of Patty. By this way, they worked on her fear and avoidance of conflicts with significant others and her feelings about development of her disorder. After that the links between her self-criticism, people pleasing behaviors, perfectionism and her eating patterns was worked. In time, Patty began to direct her treatment by herself by setting goals for recovery.

 In conclusion, similar to OCB, eating disorder is an issue about having control over something. The development and treatment story of Patty shows us the strong relation between our desire to have authority over at least our own life. For me, the eating disorders are the fruits of the maladaptive coping mechanisms.e. In this period, individuals might use alcohol as self-medication and internalizing style.