During the year 1870s, anorexia nervosa first existed and was initially perceived as a nervous disorder associated with young women. But in the 19th century, anorexia is defined as: "(1) a refusal to maintain a normal body weight with body weight at least 15 percent below that expected; (2) an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat despite being underweight; (3) body image distortion, 'feeling fat' and overvaluation of thinness; and (4) a reduction of food intake, avoidance of fattening foods, often with extensive exercise, self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse so as to achieve the weight loss and maintain a low body weight" (qtd. in Malson 3).
Out of many studies from different researchers about the severity of eating disorder, it was Lacey's (1985) "false self" and "borderline" eating-disordered patients that corresponded to the most severe forms of the illness. Lacy's (1985) idea on "false self" was actually motivated from observations of Winnicott (1975) that discrepancies in the self came out either as an adaptation to a lack of emphatic encouragement and support from the primary caretaker, or as an unintentional consequence of miscuing between mother and child. ...Show more