Anorexia Nervosa Essay

10494 words - 42 pages

Words: 1381Anorexia NervosaMany people suffer from the condition known as anorexia nervosa. Often the victims go through a number of symptoms that can lead to a serious amount of problems concerning a person's weight, happiness, and personality. People should keep a close eye out for anyone who shows signs of certain symptoms that become present later on in the future. What is Anorexia Nervosa? In medicine, Anorexia Nervosa is a condition characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, along with a distorted body image, which leads to excessive weight loss from restricting food intake and exercising excessively. It is essentially self-starvation leading to a loss of body weight 15% below normal, accompanied with hyperactivity, hypothermia, and amenorrhea. Between 5 and 18 percent of known anorexia nervosa victims die of starvation, and the condition may also lead to abnormalities in the menstrual cycle and increased susceptibility to infection. (Bruch, 53) Anorexia is an illness of several causes. The weight loss that triggers the illness is often the result of either a normal diet (the sort that is typical of many normal adolescent girls) or unhappiness or illness. The personalities of those with the illness tend to be conformist, compliant, and hard working. These traits are usually accentuated by the disorder. The families of anorexics are mainly high achieving with high expectations of their children. They often seem to discourage individual growth and encourage conformity. There is frequently a failure to express emotional issues. There are often a lot of pressures such as exams when the illness starts and stresses arising from difficulties in relationships with friends are also common. (Claude-Pierre, 102) How does it develop? Perfectionist parents drive their children to be the best and the brightest. These parents fixate on order, prestige, power and/or perfect appearances. Depriving parents withhold attention and encouragement from their children. They love conditionally, giving affection when a child pleases them and withdrawing it when displeased. What are some signs? Anorexia may not be noticed in the early stages because it often starts as an innocent diet. In the later and more dangerous stages, family members may not notice the disease because the anorexic usually wears layered and baggy clothes (Costin, 138). However, there are many warning signs that a person is developing anorexia. An obsession with diet and exercise are two early signs that a person is becoming anorexic. This can include difficulty eating in public places or in front of others, secrecy about eating patterns and food intake, and excessive exercise despite visible weight loss. A pre- occupation with weight and body image develops, and the anorexic will frequently check their weight on a scale or examine their body in a mirror. Other warning signs include disturbed sleep, hyperactivity, irritability, social withdrawal, depression, sensitivity...

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