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Eating Disorders. www.psychlotron.org.uk. Psychodynamic explanation Psychological disorders are a manifestation of repressed emotional problems The symptoms of eating disorders symbolise repressed conflicts and motives in the unconscious mind. Desire to remain a child

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Eating Disorders


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eating disorders
Eating Disorders

www.psychlotron.org.uk

  • Psychodynamic explanation
    • Psychological disorders are a manifestation of repressed emotional problems
    • The symptoms of eating disorders symbolise repressed conflicts and motives in the unconscious mind
anorexia nervosa

Desire to remain a child

Fear of sex & adult sexuality

Traumatic sexual experience in childhood?

Anorexia Nervosa

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Conscious

Refusal to eat

Desire to be thin

A prepubescent body

Lack of menstruation

Unconscious

bulimia nervosa

Guilt and anxiety

Purging behaviours

Weak and fragile ego can only control the id temporarily

Superego punishes the ego for not controlling the id

Reduction of guilt and anxiety

Overly controlling parents

Id’s desire for gratification (physical)

Bulimia Nervosa

www.psychlotron.org.uk

Conscious

Uncontrollable desire to eat

Unconscious

wonderlich et al 1996
Wonderlich et al (1996)

www.psychlotron.org.uk

  • Survey of 1099 American women
    • Sexual experiences during childhood
    • Eating disorder symptoms
  • Women with a history of sexual abuse had elevated risk of ED symptoms
  • Some issues surrounding retrospective data, but has been confirmed in other studies
eating disorders5
Eating Disorders

www.psychlotron.org.uk

  • General criticisms:
    • Some support, mainly from studies of women abused in childhood
    • However, not all abuse survivors develop EDs, and not all ED sufferers have been abused
    • Many aspects difficult to test e.g. unconscious motives, repressed memories etc.