Essay on Anorexia Nervosa and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Anorexia Nervosa and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder often found in young adolescent women, that has been characterized by a distorted attitude towards weight and body image, a set of behaviors calculated to produce weight loss and other physiological and psychological symptoms. Physiological symptoms include (according to the DSM III- R criteria) starvation, amenorrhoea, and a refusal to maintain weight above 85% of their ideal weight. Psychological symptoms include an obsessive pursuit of thinness, along with obvious body preoccupation, and an incessant rumination about food. In addition, they are also engaged in compulsive calorie counting and excessive physical exercise. The…show more content…
In response to their obsessions, most people with OCD resort to repetitive behaviors called compulsions. The most common of these are washing and checking. Other compulsive behaviors include counting, repeating, hoarding, and endlessly rearranging objects in an effort to keep them in precise alignment with each other. Some people with OCD have regimented rituals while others have rituals that are complex and changing. Performing rituals may give the person with OCD some relief from anxiety, but it is only temporary. People with OCD usually have considerable insight into their own problems. Most of the time, they know that their obsessive thoughts are senseless or exaggerated, and that their compulsive behaviors are not really necessary. However, this knowledge is not sufficient to enable them to stop obsessing or carrying out the rituals. After reading the description of Anorexia and OCD, one can identify many similar symptoms among the two disorders. In addition to these common symptoms, there are biological similarities as well, since serotonin dysfunction has been implicated as one of the possible causes of OCD and anorexia (as well as bulimia nervosa). These factors have led many investigators to study the relationship between anorexia and OCD. Most systematic and controlled studies using a large sample have concluded that there is an association between the two disorders. Various investigators found that OCD was more common in anorexic
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