Critically discuss the cause of one psychological disorder

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Anorexia Nervosa

What causes Anorexia Nervosa? At this time, no definite cause of anorexia nervosa has been determined. However, research within the medical and psychological fields continues to explore possible causes. Anorexia nervosa is an illness that usually occurs in teenage girls, but it can also occur in teenage boys, and adult women and men. People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin. They lose a lot of weight and are terrified of gaining weight. They believe they are fat even though they are very thin. Anorexia isn't just a problem with food or weight. It's an attempt to use food and weight to deal with emotional problems.

Eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa are classed as neurotic disorders, although they can be very serious: something like one in five anorexic patients succeed in starving themselves to death (Hayes, 1994). Some causes are unknown. It would seem that this is a disorder of many 'issues' that combine to produce the illness.

These recognised causes include the nature of the personality of the sufferer, aspects of their family members and relationships with these family members, and stresses and problems occurring outside home, often at school. There is an increased risk in families in which there are other anorexics and this probably indicates a genetic predisposition. The aim is weight loss from any cause, the most usual being a normal weight reducing diet to lose 'puppy' fat.

The personalities of the girls tend to be conformist, compliant, and hard working. They are often popular with teachers and may have seemed to be little cause for worry over the years. As their contemporaries go through the difficulties of adolescence, they seem models of sensible behaviour by comparison. They tend to be mildly obsessive. They are organised and tend towards tidiness. These traits...