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Anorexia Nervosa Research Essay Psychology Research Paper

2272 words - 10 pages

Joyce Wu
4th period- Psychology
Anorexia Nervosa
Millions of Americans suffer from anorexia. It is the third most common chronic disease among young people after asthma and type 1 diabetes (1). Although this eating disorder is prevalent in teenage females, anyone can suffer from this. If left untreated for too long, this disease is deadly; from bone deterioration to even dying. This disorder is caused by a wide range of psychological, interpersonal, and social factors which can be cured by the right treatment methods for the specific person.
Anorexia nervosa has been recognized for centuries. Sir William Gull coined the term anorexia nervosa in 1873 but Richard Morton offered the first medical description of this disorder in 1689 (7). Despite being known for so long little is known about this disorder. Anorexia nervosa is a potentially life threatening psychological disorder characterized by extremely low body weight compared to one's stature, an extreme want or need of weight loss, an illogical fear of gaining weight, and/or a distorted perception of one’s self image and body (2). Men and women suffering from anorexia nervosa have a fixation upon being thin and having a slim figure (2). Which consequently leads to restricting one’s diet and creating abnormal eating patterns.
There are 2 main types of anorexia nervosa, binge/purge type and restrictive (2) When a person is suffering from binge/purge type anorexia nervosa they will eat large amounts of food and then purge what he or she eats (2). Typically is the result of a person feeling guilt in relation to eating food. They will compensate that feeling by vomiting, excessively exercising, or abusing laxatives. Restrictive type anorexia nervosa is described when a person severely limits their amount of intake on food (2).They will make a goal which is well below their body’s caloric needs to function correctly. Restrictive type anorexia nervosa is essentially a person slowly starving themselves. Both types are very destructive to the body.
Anorexia nervosa is a complex disorder; the causes are just as complex. Currently, it is believed that anorexia nervosa is a combination of both biological and environmental factors (2). Environmental factors that would contribute to anorexia nervosa would include: The plastering of thinness all over social media which constantly enforce skinny people as ideal stereotypes (socio cultural ideals), different careers or hobbies that promote being thin and/or weight loss (ex. Ballet, modeling, etc), family and childhood trauma, or peer pressure among friends to be thin (2). People may not have been taught coping skills to tolerate negative experiences; restricting purging binging and excessive exercise often may be the persons way to deal with their emotions (8). Examples of biological factors include: irregular hormone functions, genetics (passed down from his or her parents), or nutrition deficiencies (2). Individuals who have had a family member with an eating...

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