Clinical interview in eating disorder

Nowadays, clinical interview is a necessary thing for timely diagnosis and choosing the treatment method of eating disorder. The doctor should be ready for a thorough analysis of self-esteem and diet of his patient.The low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with own body, are typical causes of anorexia and bulimia nervosa. High BMI and fear of obesity are reflected in the classification schemes of eating disorders.

During the interview, a doctor should determine weight for height of a patient. This information is usually a starting point in the treatment of the disease. Special attention is paid to maximum and minimum body weight indices within the last period.

Clinical interview helps a doctor to find out what events in a patient’s life caused a significant change in the body weight. It is necessary to point and estimate the frequency of weight fluctuations during a certain period of time.

The important information in the clinical interview involves:

Psychological disorders and stress
Excessive body weight in childhood
The influence of mass media and different social groups
Anorexia or bulimia events in family members

Doctors can reveal these interconnections, in young women, suffering from eating disorders especially between stressful events in personal relationships and weight fluctuations. Most often, these interconnections are observed in women between 14 and 24 years old.

Overweight and dissatisfaction with own body shape in childhood and adolescence may cause severe psychological trauma, later developing into a chronic disease.

The doctor should find out if a patient was subject to negative comments from his family about his body weight, or maybe his mates teased him about his appearance.

Once this is done, the doctor should ask a patient what body weight is perfect for him. This gives a clear idea about subjectively acceptable weight range, which is usually underestimated in patients.

The distorted self-esteem is usually associated with:

  1. Negative assessment of own appearance
  2. Perception of some body parts as abnormally large

Behavioral disorders, especially in women, lead to that the patients “check” their body, trying to avoid situations that may cause psychological discomfort (for instance, avoid going to the beach, gym, wearing of slim clothes, etc.).

When prescribing a treatment, the doctor must take into account the severity of psychological disorders, self-esteem level and ability to adapt. The increase or decrease of body weight should cause positive feelings, thoughts and increase in social and sexual activity.

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