Etiology of anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a complex disorder that has psychological, genetic, and environmental factors.
It is often triggered by a high-stress period in someone’s life. The stress causes the person to engage in disordered eating habits; as the stress subsides, so does the disordered eating—but for some people, their bodies never return to their previous weight and their minds are conditioned to continue dieting.
The body shapes of people with anorexia nervosa are strongly influenced by genetics. A person’s particular body shape may cause them to feel self-conscious about their appearance and may drive them to diet even when they are not genetically predisposed toward anorexia nervosa.
Environmental factors also play a part in developing anorexia nervosa. For example, a person who is constantly told by friends or family members that they need to lose weight or look better may eventually develop an unhealthy relationship with food or exercise.