A Woman Struggling for Control: How to Manage Severe Eating Disorders

  • Beate Wimmer-Puchinger
  • Eva Thurner


Anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are eating disorders that are mainly apparent in women. These eating disorders are severe mental disorders, which often coincide with depression, suicidality, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem, and a history of physical and/or sexual violence. The mental and physical consequences are especially relevant in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Special risk groups for developing an eating disorder are young and middle-aged women and pregnant women. Sociocultural aspects of a perfect and slim body image facilitate the development of an eating disorder. Diagnosing eating disorders is a challenge, because these disorders are never clear cut, can overlap, and also fluctuate between each other. Next to that, patients have the tendency to hide or deny their disorder. This chapter focuses on diagnosis of eating disorders from a psychosomatic theoretical perspective and an interdisciplinary treatment. It is discussed why patients should be treated as inpatients or in day clinic, which medical concerns are apparent, and how patients should be counseled about all these aspects.


Eating disorder Bulimia nervosa Anorexia nervosa Binge eating disorder Diagnostic procedures Eating disorders and pregnancy Therapeutic aspects Trauma Gender-based violence (GBV) Social-cultural aspects 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied PsychologyUniversity of SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Psychosomatic Outpatient-Clinic for WomenState Hospital Korneuburg/Teaching Hospital of Medical University of Vienna (MUW)KorneuburgAustria

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