Jennifer's Story (04:59)
Jennifer Slack received positive peer feedback for losing weight from a virus in high school. She continued losing weight until her school notified her parents. She restricted food and exercised, and was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
Understanding Anorexia Nervosa (04:38)
The condition mostly affects girls, and is associated with the highest mortality rate among psychiatric disorders. Risk factors include genetic predisposition, post-puberty age, stress, exercise, and an initial weight loss that triggers a desire to keep losing weight.
Sustaining Anorexia Nervosa (02:07)
As patients diet and exercise more, physiological and brain changes lead to maintaining the disorder. These include early satiety, constipation, depression, and automatic or habitual behaviors.
A Parent's Reaction to Anorexia Nervosa (03:04)
Jennifer agrees that a culture valuing thin body images contributed to her eating disorder. Her mother Bonnie felt confused, helpless and guilty after her diagnosis.
Medical Innovations: Project Echo (01:44)
Learn about a video conference program creating knowledge networks to help patients and their families address eating disorders. People in recovery, parents, and professionals collaborate on cases across geographical areas.
Treating Anorexia Nervosa (04:23)
Jennifer participated in a program focusing on gaining weight, but increasing her caloric intake provoked anxiety. Understanding how to change behavior is crucial for recovery. Treatment centers provide multidisciplinary approaches and target behavioral, psychological, and functional outcomes.
Recovering from an Eating Disorder (02:12)
Jennifer is not sure whether she is cured of anorexia nervosa, but she felt empowered to use her voice during the recovery process. She hopes to guard her children against the condition.
Advice for Families of Eating Disorder Patients (01:39)
Jennifer recommends that people express support and concern for loved ones, as a starting point.
Credits: Eating Disorders—Second Opinion (01:12)
Credits: Eating Disorders—Second Opinion
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