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40 years of anorexia nervosa: why we should never give up

A case will be presented of a 54 year old woman who struggled with anorexia since age 16 without treatment, until a starvation fuelled incident of shoplifting triggered her to seek help for her eating disorder. Her anxious demeanour over her many phone calls and her intial BMI of 15 did not look hopeful. However, she has done remarkably well with 34 sessions of Enhanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy over 15 months, and has stabilised at a BMI of 20.2, with an EDE-Q score within community norms. Creating a life without anorexia has been an ongoing challenge, but she is grateful that she is now physically and emotionally well enough to embark on this journey. This case illustrates why we should never give up on severe and enduring cases, and why we should always consider the possibility of full recovery, over and above quality of life improvements.

This abstract was presented in the Treatment in Community and Inpatient Settings stream of the 2014 ANZAED Conference.

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Correspondence to Stephanie Hill.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Hill, S., Fursland, A. 40 years of anorexia nervosa: why we should never give up. J Eat Disord 2 (Suppl 1), O10 (2014).

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