Friday, April 04, 2008

Eating disorders, denial and deception

Denial of illness is a serious stumbling block for the detection, assessment and treatment of eating disorders. A survey by Belgian researchers of 401 ex-eating-disorder patients found that they had made a variety of attempts to conceal their eating disorder : making excuses to avoid eating together, methods to give the false impression of having eaten, avoidance of being weighed and falsifying weight. Often these methods were described as a deliberate strategy. Information about possible health risks had little or no impact on most respondents who were familiar with the notion of an eating disorder but did not apply it to themselves. Many believed that they would have recognised their eating disorder earlier if they had had a clinician who was familiar with this disorder.

Vandereycken, Walter and Humbeeck, Ina Van - Denial and concealment of eating disorders: a retrospective survey European Eating Disorders Review March-April 2008, 16(2), 109-114

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