Perfectionism In Anorexia Nervosa

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Perfectionism and obsessive tendencies as the root cause of Anorexia Nervosa is a reoccurring theme in many patients’ experiences, for example in a personal narrative of an unnamed anorexic patient explains her experience with Anorexia Nervosa and how her perfectionist and obsessive character influenced her developing this eating disorder. She describes that initially her “rigid and controlling eating pattern merely seemed to fit with the perfectionism characteristic of most of my daily interactions” and that they had nothing to do losing weight (Anonymous 78). She developed an obsession with trying to control every aspect of her life in order to ensure she would be able to achieve the highest accolades academically, athletically, musically and socially (78-79). As she became more controlling with her diet and exercise, she began to lose so much weight that she had to be hospitalized, forcing her to miss school and sports, losing “many of the achieved statuses that once had been so important to [her] identity” resulting in her focusing even more “to the one status I still had that society seemed to value: being thin” (79). In short, this women’s story illustrates how the underlying psychological factor of perfectionism leads her to traits of Anorexia Nervosa, specifically rigid dieting and excessive exercising, and then societal value of being thin which is constantly present in mass media drove her further into the disease. This emphasizes that while the root cause of
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