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  • Thumbnail for Beyond the Symptoms:  Generalizations and Distinctions between Eating Disorders with Different Symptom Manifestations in Psychoanalysis
    Beyond the Symptoms: Generalizations and Distinctions between Eating Disorders with Different Symptom Manifestations in Psychoanalysis by Elder, Emily Johanna

    In an investigation of eating disorders from an object relations and self psychological perspective, which originally began as a personal inquiry into bulimia, the psychoanalytic framework for anorexia and bulimia is examined. Although these theories tend to generalize all disturbed relationships with food as “eating disorders” and discuss the category as a whole, considering the differences between anorexia and bulimia, in symptom manifestation, causation, and treatment, provides a more complete understanding of the eating disordered patient in her psychic structure and relationship with reality, the external world, and others. Ultimately, these differences complicate the approach to psychoanalytic treatment, but recognition of where anorexic and bulimic patients diverge may imbue the therapeutic space with new hope.