Transient psychosis in anorexia nervosa: Review and case report

  • S. Sarró
Case Report


Psychotic symptoms are a key feature in eating disorders. Restrictive-type anorectics are more prone to suffer them, coherent with recent neurocognitive findings reporting attentional and processing deficits in restrictive anorexia partially common to schizophrenia. Psychotic crises urge psychiatrists to make an accurate differential diagnosis with endogenous psychoses and carefully judge treatment options. If attentively attended, such crises can give us clues to understand the patient’s functioning and consider new strategies. We report two transient psychotic episodes in restrictive-type anorectic female patients, one with a previous experience. Onset of psychotic symptoms was related to severe malnutrition only in one of them (body mass index <15). We discuss risk factors, clinical presentation and treatment, focusing on the emotional disturbances maintained after recovery. Causes for psychotic features in these patients are reviewed and treatment individually tailored. An integrative understanding of eating disorders as a unique meeting point between psychosis and neurosis is encouraged.

Key words

Eating disorders anorexia nervosa psychosis teratment case report. 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eating Disorders Department, ABB Eating Disorders CentreDay HospitalBarcelonaSpain

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