New York - Dr. Ragnfrid H. Nordbo, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo investigating into the mind set of people suffering anorexia nervosa, a form of eating disorder, explained that victims of this mental disease attribute a great deal of importance to self-starvation, which has its roots in a deep seated need or emotion. In his estimate, treatment measures that do not take cognizance of the significance the illness holds in the patients' lives, may not realize an absolute cure of the eating disorder, leading to a recurrence of the problem.
During the study, the patients who were between 20 and 34 years old had been subjected to detailed one-on one interviews. The study revealed that most of the patients attached an underlying goal to the illness.
Researchers summarized these driving forces as eight different categories such as security, avoidance, mental strength, self-confidence, identity, care, communication, and death.
'Security' to an anorexic patient was akin to a means of creating stability and organization in life .In contrast, 'avoidance' became a method to wish away negative feelings. Anorexic behavior was also found to be driven by mental strength that was reassured with praises. The need to be cared and seeking attention through this disorder also showed up as an instigator for anorexia. When anorexics were driven by a desire to die, researchers consider this goal as extremely serious, for starvation was motivated by the urge to destroying oneself completely.
Researchers'concluded,"Therapists who do not take these intentions into consideration are likely to elicit resistance and sooner or later fail in their treatment attempts. We therefore emphasize the importance of encouraging patients to express their personal values and to explain how their eating disorder both fulfills and compromises their values."