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A 21-year-old member asked:

What causes eating disorders?

4 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Psychiatry 54 years experience
Multiple stressors: Some likely causes are; sexual abuse, dysfunctional families full of ridicule regarding weight, size and eating habits, social pressures at school, home or organized groups one attends. Also medical problems affecting appearance, motor functions, speech or hearing. Our culture of thinness in the U.S. Is harmful. Clearly genetics has a role as well in "setting the table" for eating disorders.
Dr. Seth Kunen
Clinical Psychology 45 years experience
No one cause: Causes of eating disorders are complex. Conflicts about body image, self-esteem, anxiety, depression, perceptual errors (over estimating how overweight one is), family values & biology all contribute. Anorexia (an) occurs more often among younger women, while binge eating is more common among males & older persons. Mortality rates are 6 times higher among an patients than in the general pop.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 32 years experience
Eating DO: The specific causes are unknown. It is however believed to be combination of biological (such as genetic predisposition) , psychological (such as self-image distortions), &/or environmental factors (such as social isolation, early maltreatment, cultural, peer pressure) . As i tell my patients, "genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger".
Dr. Alan Koenigsberg
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Biological base: In my practice, the majority of patients with eating disorders have bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, so a similar anxiety disorder. The majority also have had some form of physical or sexual molestation or abuse. In my opinion, the best treatments focus on the causes. Biologically based causes respond well to medications, and the psychological damage responds to psychotherapy.

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Similar questions

A 38-year-old member asked:

What are the underlying causes of eating disorders?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arman Danielyan
Child Psychiatry 29 years experience
Eating disorder: There is no one single cause. It is combination of the "nature and nurture", which is the combination of biological/genetic and social and psychological factors.
A 46-year-old member asked:

What are causes of eating disorders in girls?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bassam Amawi
Psychiatry 49 years experience
Wide variety of thin: Maternal history of eating disorders can be a factor in developement of eating disorder in yumg girls.
A 32-year-old member asked:

What is the cause of eating disorders like anorexia?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Matthew Keener
Child Psychiatry 16 years experience
A mix: Psychiatric illnesses occur when a combination of risk factors collide. The most common factors include your genes, your family upbringing and culture, and your thoughts. Eating disorders can also be caused by the simple process of losing too much weight. This had been noted in pow's in vietnam and other wars where healthy soldiers who had lost weight would further restrict while in prison camps!
A 46-year-old member asked:

Please explain what are the causes of eating disorders?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara Lavi
Clinical Psychology 35 years experience
There R various : Causes. Although most of the symptoms revolve around weight eds r about body image ; feelings of lack of self worth. Causality is different for each person, but the conflicts around food often arise from early interactions between infants/young children ; their caregivers. Some eds r a reaction 2 sexual abuse ; a desire 2 look like a child or 2 b overweight ; therefore, less attractive 2 an abuser.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are eating disorders?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Psychiatry 54 years experience
When eating disrupts: Any time something that is normal becomes disruptive in a person's life for any significant period of time it can qualify as a disorder and might need intervention medically or psychologically. Eating problems are common medically and psychologically. Most common are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and those associated with those two. Severe medical illness almost always causes appetite loss.
Last updated Dec 28, 2017
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