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Abstract
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by very restrictive eating or dieting leading to weight loss, a fear of weight gain, and a distorted body image. Several physiological mechanisms and behaviors that maintain and worsen symptoms of anorexia have addictive qualities that parallel that of substance use disorder. Similarities between anorexia nervosa and substance use disorder are explored, including other relevant diagnoses and phenomenons like reward deficiency syndrome. Related mechanisms and behaviors associated with anorexia and substance use disorder include compulsion, the detrimental continuation of maladaptive behaviors, impaired control, and disorder-related changes in neurology. Conceptualizing anorexia nervosa as an addiction could assist in creating effective treatments for this disorder.
Keywords anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, substance use disorder, SUD, anorexia, bulimia, rehabilitation
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