Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Anger, disgust and eating disorders

Recent research has suggested that anger and disgust play an important part in eating disorders. One study found that women diagnosed with an eating disorder had higher levels of inherent anger and anger suppression than other women. Higher levels of anger were associated with bingeing and vomiting while anger suppression is associated with laxative use. There is a theory that women with anorexia suppress their anger in order to preserve interpersonal relationships and this inability to express emotions has been associated with body dissatisfaction. At the same time disgust is linked to the rejection of foodstuffs or undesirable personal characteristics and disgust at one's body shape. A study of 50 students in Manchester compared those with and without eating problems. The participants were asked to recall an event that made them angry. In comparison to the control group the bulimic group demonstrated a much greater increase in anger and a higher score on the Disgust Sensitivity Scale.

Fox, John R. E. and Harrison, Amy - The relation of anger to disgust: the potential role of coupled emotions within eating pathology Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy March-April 2008, 15(2), 86-95

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