The Neurobiology and Social Implications of an Eating or Feeding Disorder: Understanding, Assessing, and Treating the Mental Health Consequences

Too Tired? Too Anxious? Need More Time? We’ve got your back.

Submit Your Instructions


Using the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and evidence-based scholarly articles, chose an eating or feeding disorder and answer the following questions:
• Explain the neurology of this eating or feeding disorder. Does the characterization of this eating or feeding disorder as a mental illness surprise you? What are your thoughts on the personal and/or cultural implications of classifying an eating or feeding disorder in this way, as opposed to a lifestyle choice or a matter of willpower? How might you support a family (or client) who is resistant to this seeing an eating or feeding disorder as a mental illness?
• Describe changes in personality and social behavior that might be seen with this eating or feeding disorder. How would you assess these changes?
• Provide an overview of the health consequences and medical complications of this eating or feeding disorder.
• Create a treatment plan for an individual diagnosed with this eating or feeding disorder using family-based therapy or other evidence-based therapy.
Criteria for this paper:
• Answer these questions succinctly, integrating resources to provide a rationale for all decisions.
• You may use a narrative, bullets, or a table format for various sections of this discussion assignment.
• Use at least one reference from CINAHL to support your rationale


Introduction Eating or feeding disorders are complex and challenging conditions that can have significant health consequences. In this paper, we will focus on neurology, personal and cultural implications, changes in personality and social behavior, health consequences, and treatment plans for an eating or feeding disorder. Specifically, we will discuss anorexia nervosa as an example of an eating disorder.

Neurology of Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder that is characterized by a persistent restriction of food intake, resulting in significantly low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and distorted body image. Recent studies suggest that the neurobiology of anorexia nervosa is complex, and several regions of the brain are involved in regulating appetite, reward, and emotion. For example, researchers have found that individuals with anorexia nervosa have altered dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems, which can contribute to the development and maintenance of the disorder (Frank, 2015).

Classification of Anorexia Nervosa as a Mental Illness Anorexia nervosa is classified as a mental illness because it has a significant impact on an individual’s psychological, emotional, and physical well-being. Despite this, some people may still view eating disorders as a lifestyle choice or a matter of willpower, which can have negative personal and cultural implications. Classifying anorexia nervosa as a mental illness can help to reduce the stigma associated with this condition, and it can encourage individuals to seek appropriate treatment.

Assisting Resistant Clients or Families When assisting clients or families who are resistant to seeing an eating disorder as a mental illness, it is important to provide them with education about the neurobiology and health consequences of the condition. Additionally, it may be helpful to provide them with resources such as support groups or mental health professionals who specialize in eating disorders.

Changes in Personality and Social Behavior Anorexia nervosa can have significant impacts on an individual’s personality and social behavior. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may experience social withdrawal, irritability, and low self-esteem. Additionally, they may develop obsessive and compulsive behaviors related to food and weight control. To assess these changes, mental health professionals may use standardized assessments such as the Eating Disorders Examination or the Yale-Brown-Cornell Eating Disorders Scale.

Health Consequences and Medical Complications Anorexia nervosa can have severe health consequences, including malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and cardiovascular problems. Additionally, individuals with anorexia nervosa may experience complications related to low bone density, gastrointestinal issues, and fertility problems (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). These health consequences can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Treatment Plan Family-based therapy (FBT) is an evidence-based treatment approach that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. FBT involves working with the individual and their family to develop a plan for weight restoration and to address the emotional and psychological aspects of the disorder. The treatment approach focuses on empowering families to be an active part of the treatment process and can help to improve treatment outcomes (Lock & Le Grange, 2015).

Conclusion Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder that can have significant impacts on an individual’s health and well-being. Understanding the neurobiology, health consequences, and treatment approaches of anorexia nervosa is critical to providing effective treatment and support to individuals and families affected by this condition. By adopting evidence-based treatment approaches and reducing stigma associated with eating disorders, we can work towards promoting positive mental and physical health outcomes for those affected by anorexia nervosa.

Reference American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric

Too Tired? Too Anxious? Need More Time? We’ve got your back.

Submit Your Instructions

Leave a comment