It seems today that eating disorders are on the rise. While this may be true, the numbers may appear to grow only because more cases are being brought out into the open. The purpose of this paper is to discuss eating disorders and prove the these disease, specifically Anorexia Nervosa, continue to plague of women due to psychological and environmental factors along with pressure from the media.
The term “Anorexia Nervosa” is misleading. It means “loss of appetite due to nerves.” But people with anorexia don’t actually lose their appetite until the late stages of their starvation. Until, they do feel hungry, but they just won’t eat. People affected by anorexia have an extreme fear of gaining weight. In addition to drastic dieting, they may resort to vomiting and the use of laxatives and diuretics to lose weight. Statistics show that many teens and young adults suffer from anorexia nervosa. Without treatment, anorexia nervosa can cause serious health problems--even death! The sooner treatment begins the better the chances for a full recovery.
The person with another anorexia is a model child. He/She is well behaved, eager to please, and a good student who gets along well with her peers. She rarely admits that anything is wrong or that anything is wrong or that she/he extra helps. Behind the mask is an insecure, self-critical perfectionist who feels unworthy of any praises she receives. A person who has anorexia is also very concerned about whether other people like her. Occasionally, she feels that there’s something wrong with her- that she’s bad or that her thoughts are disgusting. One interpretation of an eating disorder is termed is when the relationship between the person and food appears abnormal. ( Bruch ) Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most prevalent eating disorder decease. The definition of Anorexia, Dr. Barton J. Blinder gives an interpretation similar to this: Anorexia is an all-encompassing pursuit of thinness, occurring most often in adolescents and young adult woman. This is accomplished by avoidance of eating by any means possible. The person affected by Anorexia has an absolutely terrifying fear of becoming obese. In short, “food becomes the enemy;” one researcher described Anorexia as “weight phobia.” (Bruch ) Some experts believe that a fear of growing up is the root of the problem. Other experts see the disorder as a subconscious rebellion against parents who’ve set standards that are too high. All experts agree that food is not the central problem. There is evidence that people with anorexia secrete abnormal amounts of various hormones. But, many researchers believe these imbalances are the results of emotional stress and severe dieting, not the case of them. In our culture, “thin is in” and dieting is “normal” behavior. The pressure to be “the best” may also be a factor in the disorder’s development.
One of the most frightening aspects of the disorder is that people with anorexia continue to think they are overweight even then they are bone-thin. For reasons not yet understood, they become terrified of gaining any weight. Food and weight become obsessions. For some, the compulsiveness shows up in strange eating rituals or the refusal to eat in front of others. It is not uncommon for people with anorexia to collect recipes and prepare gourmet feasts for family and friends, but not partake in the meals themselves. They may adhere to strict exercise routines to keep off weight. Loss of monthly menstrual periods is typical in woman with the disorder. Men with anorexia often become impotent.
When one looks at the media today, it is difficult not to notice the fashion industry. To look at the fashion model’s who are 15% thinner than the average American woman, one can clearly see that underneath the season’s hottest new trends the taller-than-average woman, are very, very slender almost to the point of being gaunt. For example, Kate Moss (nicknamed ‘Skeleton’), Calvin Klein’s newest supermodel, sports the figure of the newest look for the fashion industry: the waif. This is the look that the media portrays to the public to say while million of children and adults look on. Studies show that children as young as six years of age see themselves as overweight and look up to such personalities of the fashion world as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and the before-mentioned Kate Moss; all of whom are extremely thin. Society seems to teach the people that they have to look a certain way to be successful and accepted.
The effects of the environment can influence eating disorder. Family members can play a major role in the influence of eating disorders. For example when mother and father stress the importance of weight. Parents stress to their children that eating right will keep their body into shape. Parents do not like to see children being teased because of their weight so they try to keep them fit. Sometime the stress from the parents and/or if there is any physical or sexual abuse in the family, the child in this situation may lead to an eating disorder to have a way to control something in their life.
In conclusion, Anorexia Nervosa greatly affects all that are touched by it. Close family members and friends go through fighting battle with the person helping to serve this deathful battle. The information in this paper is just touching briefly on what can happen to someone with this disease called Anorexia. It is important that people are aware of these problems, know how to spot eating disorders, and help someone else or themselves overcome something like Anorexia.
Our group worked exceptionally hard on this project. Even though we worked hard, we also worked very well together, which made it easy to do this project. We all put incredible amounts of time into gathering information on our topic of Anorexia. We learned a lot about our topic, but most of all we made this assignment fun, and interesting, which is why I think we worked really well together.
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Right now, one percent of all American women — our sisters, co-workers, friends, mothers, and daughters — are starving themselves; some literally starving and exercising themselves to death. Eating disorders are becoming an epidemic, especially among our most promising young women. These women and girls, whom we admire and adore, feel a deep sense of inadequacy and ineffectiveness. Anorexia nervosa is a confusing, complex disease that many people know too little about.
There is no blame in anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is not an indication that parents have gone wrong in raising their children. Cultural, genetic and personality factors interact with life events to initiate and maintain eating disorders.
Anorexia is not fun. Many people who strive to lose weight state, “I wish I were anorexic.” They fail to recognize the wretchedness of the disease. Anorexia is not about feeling thin, proud and beautiful; if you take the time to listen to an anorexic you will hear that they feel fat, unattractive and inadequate. They are scared and trapped.
Anorexia is not something sufferers can just “snap out of.” A person with this disorder is possessed by thoughts of weight, body image, food, and calories. Many sufferers are not even free of the disease in their sleep, troubled by dreams of food, eating, and exercise. Anorexia is an awful, lonely experience that often takes years to conquer.
Anorexia is hard on everyone involved. Living with someone with anorexia nervosa can be exasperating and confusing. To those who do not understand the complexity of the disorder, the sufferer’s behavior seems selfish and manipulative. It is often hard to remember that eating disorders are a manifestation of profound unhappiness and distress.
Anorexia can be deadly. It has one of the highest fatality rates of any mental illness. If you or someone you know shows the signs or symptoms of an eating disorder, take action, get educated and seek help.