Our message is that anorexia nervosa (AN) is a condition a person is genetically predisposed to have. It is triggered by weight loss which, in turn, can be initiated by a variety of factors.
It is neither a lifestyle choice nor a condition that can be afflicted by the individual, family or society. Scientific research has proven that AN has genetic and biological components. This understanding is essential for two main reasons:
- It can remove the misplaced guilt often experienced by people suffering from AN as well as their families, who often feel that they have done something wrong.
- It encourages Early Intervention. This often makes the difference between full recovery and a possible death.
The AN process is well understood: while most people can afford to diet and lose weight throughout their lives, individuals predisposed with AN need to realize that weight loss may result in an out-of-control psychobiological spiral, leading to even further weight loss.
The possible implications of this weight loss should be realized and accepted by sufferers, family and friends who should also celebrate the high achieving personality traits and sensitive nature often associated with those predisposed to AN.