Psychological aspects of eating disorders.Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2004; 18(6):1073-88BP
Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder) are regarded as psychiatric syndromes that have some relationship to obesity. This review describes current clinical and scientific knowledge concerning the clinical descriptions of these disorders, etiology of each disorder, diagnostic signs, and treatment approaches that have been found to be efficacious. Anorexia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder that is associated with severe medical complications. Anorexia nervosa is very difficult to successfully treat, even when intensive inpatient methods are used. Bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are typically less severe eating disorders and are more easily treated using outpatient therapy. Pharmacotherapy has not been found to be an effective treatment for anorexia nervosa, but it has been used successfully with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Psychotherapy approaches have been successfully employed for all three eating disorders. The review concludes with an integrative perspective that illustrates the similarities and differences of the eating disorders and obesity.