2004 issue 3


Volume 13, issue 3

Review article

Historical background of research into anorexia nervosa

Cezary Żechowski1
1. Klinika Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2004, 13 (3), 247-253
Keywords: history, anorexia nervosa


Objective: The aim of article is to present the changing views on anorexia nervosa, especially in 20th century.

Views: Anorexia nervosa is a mental disorder widespread in the Western culture from ancient times at least. However, it has not always been regarded as a mental disorder. A considerable progress in the diagnosis of anorexia dates back to the 17th century. In the 20th century detailed diagnostic criteria and effective therapies were developed.

Conclusions: The development of knowledge and treatment methods is associated with many changes in the understanding and treatment of anorexia nervosa. The changes pertain to: the importance of collaboration between patients, doctors and therapists; increased awareness of the patient: subjective and objective problems; multimodal interventions; helping the whole family; better understanding of eating disorders by general practitioners, paediatricians and psychiatrists.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Cezary Żechowski,
Klinika Psychiatrii Dzieci i Młodzieży Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii,
ul. Sobieskiego 9,
02-957 Warszawa,
tel. (22) 3213331, 3213490,
e-mail: cezech@poczta.onet.pl