Denial of illness in anorexia nervosa—a conceptual review: part 2 different forms and meanings
Version of Record online: 14 AUG 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
European Eating Disorders Review
Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 352–368, September/October 2006
How to Cite
Vandereycken, W. (2006), Denial of illness in anorexia nervosa—a conceptual review: part 2 different forms and meanings. Eur. Eat. Disorders Rev., 14: 352–368. doi: 10.1002/erv.722
- Issue online: 28 SEP 2006
- Version of Record online: 14 AUG 2006
- anorexia nervosa;
- denial of illness;
To analyse in a systematic way the concept of denial of illness in anorexia nervosa, especially (part 2) with regard to its various forms and meanings.
A detailed review of the available literature on the subject.
Two major categories of denial can be distinguished. First, there is unintentional denial including all sorts of distorted information processing. It may be a sign of neurobiologically impaired self-awareness (anosognosia), a psychotic-like reality distortion, a dissociative phenomenon, or a coping mechanism with various meanings. We will discuss the most important theoretical approaches (cognitive, psychodynamic and interpersonal) to understand unintentional denial. The second category can be described as deliberate denial or refusal of self-disclosure (including ‘faking good’), expressing an avoidance of feared consequences or a need of self-determination.
The complexity of denial is not reflected in the available research and clinicians underestimate its interactional significance with respect to the patients' social surrounding, including the health care system. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.