Gallup of the Week: Have you or someone close to you had an eating disorder?


Eating disorders are not only common but also potentially serious mental health problems in young people. Illness increases the likelihood of premature death many times.

But although the acute phase can be very strong, fortunately the eating disorder passes by many, says Helsingin Sanomat in the story.

However, some people with an eating disorder are clearly more symptomatic and last longer. They are the “really hard core” of the spectrum of eating disorders, describes the mental health professor Anna Keski-Rahkonen From the University of Helsinki.

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“They have been a clinical mystery for as long as I have been in the industry for 20 years. They are our most difficult patients, ”he says.

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According to Keski-Rahkonen, two groups in particular are formed from the hard core of patients.

First, for some people, treatment and recovery are hampered by some traumatic event. Their body boundaries have been violated by touching or commenting or they have experienced sexual violence.

The actual “clinical mysteries” are people who have neuropsychiatric symptoms in addition to an eating disorder.

Common developmental neuropsychiatric disorders include activity and attention deficit disorder and autism spectrum disorders. Autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger are widespread developmental disorders that begin in early childhood.

Weight loss anorexia nervosa sufferers have an exceptional number of features of autism spectrum and adhd compared to the rest of the population.

Anorexia is a binge eating disorder bulimia nervosa along with the most well-known eating disorder. The most studied is how anorexia and autism spectrum symptoms occur at the same time in certain people.

Approximately 10 to 30 percent of female patients with anorexia meet the criteria for a diagnosis of autism spectrum, and have been found in studies that actively investigated the overlap of disorders.

Anorexia and autism spectrum disorders often have similar symptoms. Thinking and behavior is inflexible, social situations are difficult and emotion recognition is difficult.

“Almost everyone with anorexia has had some rigid behavior as a child. It has always existed and will probably exist even after recovery, ”says Docent of Adolescent Psychiatric Epidemiology at the University of Helsinki Anu Raevuori.

Social relationships may also have caused difficulties even before the onset of anorexia.

Raevuori and his colleagues have just written two review articles on co-occurrence, one of which will be published soon. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, another in Finnish In Duodecim.

In Bulimia, on the other hand highlights adhd. Both are characterized by impulsive behavior.

However, Adhd can occur concomitantly with all eating disorders.

Mental health professionals are just figuring out what the connection between eating disorders and neuropsychiatric disorders is all about.

“In the treatment of eating disorders, it has long been thought that increasing flexibility is terribly important. But if there are strong features of the autism spectrum, it should be compromised. It is so contrary to their essence, ”says Raevuori.

Medicine and psychology have long been dominated by the tradition of measuring objectivity, Keski-Rahkonen points out. The focus has been on finding neurobiological explanatory models.

Now the perspective is changing: in treatment, it is also worth using experiential knowledge and asking what person is helping themselves.


Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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