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Anorexia Nervosa - Treatment

Written by Dr. Vivekanand, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Reeja Tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Feb 14, 2016
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Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

There are two methods to treat Anorexia - short term and long term.These are usually combined for effective management of the condition.

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The general line of treatment is in two phases that can often be merged with each other for effective management.

  • Short-term treatment;
    • Done to ensure weight gain and to correct nutritional deficiencies.
  • Long-term treatment;
    • That is aimed at maintaining the normal weight that needs to be achieved after short-term treatment and preventing relapses.

The various methods of treatment include-

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  • Behaviour therapy - This line of treatment is based on providing positive support (sometimes even negative) to help the patient control the binge eating habits.
  • Individual psychotherapy - This therapy helps the patient in -
    • Developing self-esteem
    • Assertiveness
    • Helps them streamline their social skills
    • Teaches them how to deal with 'stress and pressure' in life.
  • Group therapy and family therapy - This involves educating the patients and their family about the condition and this will include getting rid of current social beliefs about slimming and fitness.
  • Drug - It is very important to follow a drug regime along with other treatment therapies. They help in inducing weight gain, decreasing depressive symptoms and increasing appetite. The drugs include-
    • Chlorpromazine
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
    • Cyproheptadine
  • Hospitalisation. If adequate care is given by ensuring proper food intake followed by controlled weight gain, it can be very helpful in the short-term treatment of the condition.

References:

  1. Shorter Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (IVth Edition): Oxford University Press,Michael Gelder, Richard Mayou & Philip Cowen.
  2. A Short Textbook of Psychiatry (Vth Edition): Jaypee Brothers,Niraj Ahuja, MD.
  3. Porter, Roy. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity. New York: W.W. Norton; 1997, p. 706
  4. MacLeod, Sheila. The Art of Starvation. London: 1981 [As cited in Turner BS, The Body and Society: Explorations in Social Theory. Oxford, England: Basil Blackwell; 1984, p. 186].
  5. Gull, William Withey. Anorexia nervosa (apepsia hysterica, anorexia hysterica). Trans Clin Soc Lond. 1874; 7:22-8.
  6. MacLeod, Sheila. The Art of Starvation. London : 1981 [As cited in Turner BS, The Body and Society: Explorations in Social Theory. Oxford, England : Basil Blackwell; 1984, p. 186].
  7. Porter, Roy. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity. New York : W.W. Norton; 1997, p. 706
  8. Anorexia Nervosa: The Race For Weight Loss - (http://www.something-fishy.org/whatarethey/anorexia.php)

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Comments

Imayavaramban

Why teens are more prone to this condition?

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