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Unformatted text preview: Module 3 --- Article 1 TREATMENT HIGHLIGHTS ANOREXIA NERVOSA A review of research on male anorexia nervosa contrasts it with female anorexia nervosa. An estimated 5-10% of reported cases of anorexia nervosa occur in males. However, the authors note that this is probably an underestimate due to underreporting and misdiagnosis of males. They suggest that the possibility of anorexia nervosa is typically not considered when clinicians are diagnosing male patients. Also, whereas amenorrhea is a hallmark feature used to diagnose anorexia nervosa in females, there is currently no comparable criterion for males. The authors cite research indicating that males with anorexia nervosa have a decline in testosterone levels, which results in decreased sexual desire and performance. Similar to females, males with eating disorders have been found to have feelings of interpersonal ineffectiveness and an inability to control their emotions. The authors also cite research indicating that, for those individuals who develop eating disorders, the reasons for dieting typically differ between men and women. The research suggests that, in general, women who diet do so because they feel fat even if they are not overweight. For men, there is generally a link between actually having been overweight and dieting. Also, males, more often than females, diet to attain certain goals in sports or to avoid sports-related injuries or potential medical problems. The authors comment that, as a muscular body build becomes increasingly viewed, socioculturally, as the ideal body type for men, males with eating disorders appear to be likely to gravitate towards bodybuilding and weightlifting to compensate for their body image disturbances. Additionally, the authors note that “a higher incidence of homosexuality or gender-identity confusion has also been reported among males with disordered eating patterns with estimates as high as 21% of affected males being homosexual.” Noting the importance of understanding gender differences in this disorder in order to provide appropriate prevention and intervention strategies, the authors provide a list of features of male anorexia nervosa that might assist in diagnosis and treatment [see box below]. The authors conclude that “male anorexia nervosa is a problem of great magnitude that requires heightened recognition from mental health and medical practitioners.”
Crosscope-Happel C, Hutchins D, Getz HG, & Hayes GL. Male anorexia nervosa: A new focus. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 22:365370, 2000. To read about the related topic of muscle dysmorphia, see the October 2000 issue of The Complete Practitioner or the Subscribers’ Area of our Web site. Commonly Observed Features of Male Anorexia Nervosa
• high level of body dissatisfaction • in majority of males, being overweight prior to the development of anorexia nervosa • dieting and excessive exercise often preceding anorexic behavior • characterological traits such as borderline, obsessive-compulsive, dependent, passive-aggressive, and avoidant • gradual decrease in the production of testosterone (as a result of starvation) • loss of sex drive and diminished sexual function • “living life to the extreme while engaging in all-or-nothing thinking” • ALSO: perfectionism, low self-esteem, dysphoric mood, social withdrawal or the tendency to be a “loner” ©Copyright 2011 MWK Publishing LLC; from The Complete Practitioner: Mental Health Applications (Vol. 4, No. 1 -- January 2001) For next article, go to next page. ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course PCO 4930 taught by Professor Neimeyer during the Spring '09 term at University of Florida.
- Spring '09