Researchers find Dangerous Relationship Between Pride and Anorexia
A new study by researchers at Rutgers University examined the complications related to the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.
Statistics show that almost 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a type of eating disorder, primarily anorexia nervosa. It is a health issue characterized by ones urge to be extremely thin.
The study showed that individuals dealt with the complicated obsession often took great pride in the amount of weight they were able to lose.
"Women with anorexia are often in complex emotional places, that is why it is important to understand all we can about what they are getting out of this experience," said Edward Selby, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University. "The more we know not only about the negative emotions, but also the positive emotions connected to this disease, the more likely we will be to treat this devastating illness."
The researchers recruited 118 women between the ages of 18 and 58 for the study, and all participants were treated for anorexia nervosa. The researchers took good watch of the women's emotional states during two weeks of monitoring and found an unhealthy relation between positive emotion and weight loss.
In fact, it turned that thinness negatively encouraged the patients suffering from anorexia to continue their weight-loss trend, further enforcing the theory that it is a disorder strengthened by pride.
"What we think happens is that positive emotions become exaggerated and are rewarding these maladaptive behaviors," added Selby, via Medical Xpress. "Since only about one-third of women recover after treatment, what we need to do is gain a better understanding of why these positive emotions become so strongly associated with weight loss rather than with a healthy association such as family, school or relationships."