The distorted perception of anorexics
Anorexics cannot realistically perceive their bodies. Although the patients often lose weight to a life-threatening underweight, they feel that they are too fat. On the other hand, they can realistically assess other people's bodies. A research group has now published an investigation to look for the cause of the distorted perception in the central nervous system of those affected.
Anorexics feel too fat despite being underweight Dewi Guardia from the University Hospital in Lille and her team gave 25 eating-impaired study participants the task of assessing whether they or one of the 25 healthy subjects fit through a door-like opening. It turned out that the patients suffering from anorexia had a strongly distorted perception of their body, but realistically assessed the healthy participants. This was also confirmed by previous studies. The anorexics found themselves too fat to fit through the opening, although it was about the size of a door and therefore more than adequate space. "Our results suggest that overestimating the body dimension can impair judgment, but only if it affects the patient's own body," the researchers write in the journal "Plos One".
The disturbed perception of one's own body could be due, among other things, to the affected person's central nervous system. “The overestimation of the dimensions of the body structure could occur because the central nervous system has not yet saved the new emaciated body and instead maintains the misrepresentation, based on the patient's body before he was anorexic,” the scientists explain. This is the reason why many anorexics believed that they had the same weight as before their illness and did not suffer from being underweight. (ag)
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