Eating disorders are complex and multifactorial diseases, whose origins are biological, psychological, social and environmental. Thus, more and more studies show that genetic and neurobiological factors play a role in the development of CAW.
Levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that not only regulates mood, but also appetite, may be altered in patients with ACT.
Several psychological factors can also come into play. Some personality traits, such as perfectionism, the need for control or attention, low self-esteem, are frequently found in people with ACT7. Similarly, traumas or events that are difficult to live with can trigger or aggravate the disorder.
Finally, several specialists denounce the influence of Western culture, which promotes slender, even thin bodies, on young girls. They may aim for a physical “ideal” far removed from their physiology, and become obsessed with their diet and weight.
In addition, CAW is frequently associated with other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance abuse (drugs, alcohol) and personality disorders. People with ACT have the ability to regulate their altered emotions. Deviant eating behaviour is often a way to “manage” emotions, such as stress, anxiety, professional pressure. The behaviour provides a feeling of comfort, relief, even if it is sometimes associated with strong guilt (especially in cases of hyperphagia).