# Anorexia nervosa as an anxiety management tool

Talking to people with anorexia nervosa, I noticed that some of them have actually much bigger problems than their aforementioned condition.

In some cases it looked as if the person was spending daily an insane amount of time on food, having no time left to deal with other more serious issues in his life. Removing his anorexia, would leave him "helpless" against his real fear, so why would he want that? He would rather keep postponing facing his fear... indefinitely.

Question:

Are there any studies related to the above conditions being used by a person, as a way to divert his attention away from other events that are actually even more stressful?

Note:
I'm not implying that distraction is always the only (or even the main) reason these conditions appear; I'm simply wondering if they are sometimes used subconsciously as another anxiety management tool.

• I think this will answer your question: eatingdisorderhope.com/treatment-for-eating-disorders/… – user3116 Jan 16 '17 at 17:13
• @what Indeed. These findings suggest anxiety is a reason why someone develops anorexia, rather than a symptom of the eating disorder. along with [..]hypothesize anorexia is a subconscious way to deal with premorbid anxiety — that the anorexia helps control the anxiety. – Fermi paradox Jan 16 '17 at 18:54
• @what you should post an answer based on that link. – Fermi paradox Jan 21 '17 at 14:18

• [...] is a symptom of other underlying problems - Exactly. If my question is unclear let me know what i should change, or you can edit it as well. I m not familiar with cognitive sciences' terminology (especially in english). (this message will be deleted in a few days) – Fermi paradox Jan 16 '17 at 9:42