A major difficulty in treating anorexia is the person's resistance to treatment for, despite their life-threatening medical symptoms, they tend to deny any difficulty apart from not being thin enough. When this is achieved, they believe that all of their life issues will be resolved.
These individuals tend to be unable to remember past important events; incapable of psychological insight; and tending to think concretely and be out of touch with their physical and emotional experiences. Their major interests are their food intake and weight.
Anorexia is particularly likely to arise during adolescence when the sense of who one is, the "sense of self," is being organized. Some adolescents try to accomplish this by becoming grounded in their body through activity and exercise, attempting to feel whole and cohesive in this way.