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Anorexia: The Skinny Disease Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious illness that could affect anyone. Anorexia nervosa is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. They suffer from a psychiatric disorder, or mental illness. Patients struggling with anorexia use starvation diets to lose large amounts of weight. Anoretics use their body shape as a form of self evaluation. Anorexia affects females more commonly than males; ninety percent of those affected are female, but the numbers are growing (Gulli 1). Many people struggling with this illness have a distorted body image, constantly feeling fat even after losing weight. The physiological and cultural causes of anorexia nervosa result in both physical and mental pain.
Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness that has many physiological causes. People who have trouble communicating their problems and have difficulty resolving problems are more likely to become anorexic. Patients are often perfectionists with low self esteem. They have high expectations for themselves and want to please everyone around them. Anoretics have an intense fear of gaining weight and tend to misperceive their body shape, believing they are bigger than they really are (Coelho 1). Weight gain is a sign of weakness or failure in the patient’s eyes. Anorectics often have high anxiety levels and feelings of depression. This illness may also be caused by a person’s fear of growing up and adulthood, thinking they are able to remain a child forever if they become anorexic (Berman 1). Also, some people become anorexic because they want to remain weak and passive with the belief that men will find this attractive. Anorexia can also be caused by stressful life events and experiences, such as physical or sexual abuse. Anorexia may also be a response to family problems, including parents who are frequently uninvolved in their child’s lives or frequently criticizing their child because of high expectations. This illness can also run in the family. If your family has a history of anorexia nervosa it is more likely that your son/daughter will have it as well.
The western culture also has a strong influence on anorexic patients. American society places high values on thinness and physical appearance, especially among women. The idealization of thinness that exists in western society can be known as the “thin ideal” (Gulli 1). Social pressures make younger children think that in order to be pretty you must be slender. The “thin ideal” tends to exist in places where there are sufficient amounts of food. Eating disorders are rare in communities that do not put emphasis on thinness for a standard of beauty (Gulli 1). There are many pictures of slender women in social media, such as Playboy, fashion, and weight loss magazines. There are also many occupations that except women to be very thin, including dancing, fashion modeling, gymnasts, actressing, etc. Industrialized societies make people think that being thin is an essential...

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