Cover image for Demystifying anorexia nervosa : an optimistic guide to understanding and healing
Demystifying anorexia nervosa : an optimistic guide to understanding and healing
Lucas, Alexander R., 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
xiv, 176 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
What is anorexia nervosa? -- How does anorexia nervosa evolve? -- How common is anorexia nervosa? -- What causes anorexia nervosa? -- The signs of trouble -- What to expect in an evaluation -- Making the diagnosis -- Disorders that mimic anorexia nervosa -- Physiological effects of starvation and weight gain -- How is fertility affected? -- Bulimia, bulimia nervosa and binge eating -- Treatment -- Is recovery possible? -- Can anorexia nervosa be prevented?
Reading Level:
1160 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC552.A5 L83 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Emotionally and physically devastating, anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness in teenage girls, striking one in every two hundred (boys only make up 10% of all cases). And while there are a plethora of books on the subject, most are either personal accounts of recovery orattempts to explain the disease from only one perspective, be it psychoanalytic, behavioral, cultural, or biological. Now, in this much-needed resource, Dr. Alexander Lucas draws on 40 years of experience, mostly at the Mayo Clinic, to offer clear guidance and authoritative advice on how to overcome anorexia nervosa. Based on his own unique research with thousands of patients, and striking a careful balancebetween psychological, cultural, and biological approaches, Dr. Lucas demystifies this seemingly irrational disease and guides parents through the harrowing process of recovery. The book defines anorexia, illustrates how it can evolve and how common it really is, and outlines every part of thetreatment process, from the early warning signs that parents should watch out for, to the initial evaluation, to specific treatment plans. Dr. Lucas emphasizes the patient's role in defining the healing process, with the support of the family and medical team. Throughout the book, he counselsoptimism, stressing that in spite of the destructive power of the disease, most who suffer from anorexia nervosa fully recover and are able to live normal, healthy, and productive lives. For anyone seeking level-headed, medically sound, and comprehensive guidance on the most effective treatments for this life-threatening disorder, Demystifying Anorexia Nervosa offers a wealth of reliable, reassuring information.

Author Notes

Alexander R. Lucas is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and former Head of the Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Lucas, an experienced child psychiatrist affiliated with the famed Mayo Clinic, here targets the parents of children with anorexia nervosa. He begins by describing the disease and debunking the myths surrounding it. He then explains calmly and matter-of-factly what to expect in the diagnostic and treatment phases and provides pointers for parents to use with their children, primary-care physicians, and mental health specialists. Using case studies describing real patients to illustrate his points, Lucas views anorexia as a medical illness with a range of treatment options and explores each option carefully. Although he writes primarily about anorexia, his chapters on disorders that mimic anorexia and those on bulimia are also useful. The book will be valuable for the well-educated parent facing a family crisis and ready to read at length about the illness, but it may not be as helpful to families with lesser reading skills or for whom English is a second language. Recommended for public libraries and consumer health collections.-Ellen Detlefsen, Univ. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Demystifying Anorexia Nervosap. 2
Chapter 1 What Is Anorexia Nervosa?p. 3
Chapter 2 How Does Anorexia Nervosa Evolve?p. 11
Chapter 3 How Common Is Anorexia Nervosa?p. 20
Chapter 4 What Causes Anorexia Nervosa?p. 28
Chapter 5 The Signs of Troublep. 54
Chapter 6 What to Expect in an Evaluationp. 63
Chapter 7 Making the Diagnosisp. 70
Chapter 8 Disorders That Mimic Anorexia Nervosap. 77
Chapter 9 Physiological Effects of Starvation and Weight Gainp. 82
Chapter 10 How Is Fertility Affected?p. 89
Chapter 11 Bulimia, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eatingp. 94
Chapter 12 Treatmentp. 102
Chapter 13 Is Recovery Possible?p. 137
Chapter 14 Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Prevented?p. 154
Message for Patientsp. 159
Resources for Familiesp. 161
Notesp. 164
Indexp. 172