Is own body really aversive stimulus in eating disorder? Is their subjective and physical reaction similar?



Year of publication 2019
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Description Background and Aims: Disturbance perception of body shape and body dissatisfaction are one of the main clinical symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Subjective perception of their own body is non-realistic and often is very different from ideal body, which eating disorder (ED) patients want to have. Disturbed body image play an important role in development and maintenance of eating disorder. During therapy, they slowly become accustomed to their own self-image, accepting it more. In general, a view of the body, either supposed, or real in the mirror, represents one of the most aversive stimulus for girls with eating disorders. Methods: Thirty-two adolescent girls with restrictive type of anorexia nervosa and thirty-three health controls (HC) were repeatedly exposed to own body in the mirror and physiological activity (ECG, skin conductance) was measured during experiment. Subjects were rating their emotional reaction on SAM scale after mirror exposure. Results: We hypothesize, that girls with ED will have increased stress reactivity indexed to mirror exposure than HC. We also expected significant discrepancy between subjective evaluation of exposure indexed by SAM and objective physiological reactivity in ED group. The results of the present study demonstrate that ED group experienced higher negative and intensive emotional response to body exposure compare to HC and showed higher physiological arousal in skin conductance. We could not confirm the paradoxical relationship between the subjective and objective response to mirror exposure in patients. Conclusions: This report was written with the support of the Specific University Research provided by MŠMT, MUNI/A/0976/2017.
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