Chapter 1: Since the opening of the Psychiatric and Neurological Clinic of the University of Mlinster in 1928, 276 patients with anorexia nervosa were examined there up to the end of 1975. The great extent of the random test permits a description of the symptomatology and course of this mental illness in its entire range of variations. Insight into the causes of this illness is not so much won with the aid of objective clinical findings but rather during the psychotherapy of the patients. Over and above that, it is necessary to concern oneself with the latent but ever present and not easily recognizable disorders in the family structure, in order to understand the origin of the developmental history of central conflicts which lead to such a severe “maturation crisis”.
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