Causes of Anorexia
The exact causes of anorexia nervosa are unclear, although most specialists believe it is the result of a combination of factors such as psychological, environmental, biological and genetic.
Certain personality and behavioral traits are commonly shared by people who develop anorexia nervosa which make them more likely to develop the condition. These include:
a tendency towards depression and anxiety
difficulty to handling stress
excessive worry, fear or doubts about the future
perfectionism – setting strict, demanding goals or standards
being very emotionally restrained
having compulsion or unwanted thoughts, images or urges that compel them to perform certain acts
some people with anorexia also have an overwhelming fear (phobia) of being fat.
Puberty seems to be an important environmental factor contributing to anorexia. It is possibly a combination of hormonal changes and feelings of stress, anxiety and low self-esteem during puberty that triggers anorexia.
Culture and society also play a part. Girls and, to a lesser extent, boys, are exposed to a wide range of media messages that constantly reinforce the idea that being thin is beautiful. Magazines and newspapers also focus on celebrities’ minor physical imperfections, such as gaining a few pounds or having cellulite.These influence the way they feel about their body and play a major role in development of body image issues.
Other environmental factors that may contribute towards anorexia include:
pressures and stress at school, such as exams or bullying, particularly being teased about body weight or shape
occupations or hobbies where being thin is seen as the ideal, such as modeling, dancing or athletics
a stressful life event, such as losing a job, the breakdown of a relationship or bereavement
difficult family relationships
physical or sexual abuse
Anorexia often starts off as a form of dieting that gradually gets out of control.
3.Biological and genetic factors
Some studies suggest that changes in brain function or hormone levels may also have a role in anorexia, although it is not clear if these lead to anorexia or if they develop later as a result of it malnutrition from anorexia.
These changes may affect the part of the brain that controls appetite, or they may lead to feelings of anxiety and guilt when eating that improve when meals are missed or after excessive exercise.
The risk of someone developing anorexia is also thought to be greater in people with a family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse, which suggests genes could play a role.
Causes of Anorexia