Eating Disorders Essay

2987 words - 12 pages

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a serious disruption of a persons eating habits,
in some cases it may be a reflection of abnormal psychological
functioning. The two most common eating disorders are, anorexia
nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. Both of these eating disorders are most
common among adolescent girls, but they do occur amongst older people
and are becoming more and more frequent amongst men. Also they were
originally only found in European countries but are becoming more
common all over the world.

Anorexia nervosa

This is a disorder where the person fears that they might become
overweight. (despite being seriously underweight) therefore they
engage in self starving to try to prevent this from happening.

Bulimia nervosa

This is a disorder in which the person will engage in episodes of
uncontrollable eating ?bingeing? which is then followed by self
indulged vomiting, ?purging?. People who have bulimia have abnormal
concerns with body size and a morbid fear of being or becoming fat.

Characteristics of anorexia

There are four listed criteria for anorexia

Anxiety

This is a key characteristic of anorexia. The anxiety associated with
the disorder and the excessive fear of becoming fat. People who have
anorexia not only become obsessed with weight but they also become
fearful of weight gain.

Weight

Weight loss has become to be considered abnormal when it drops below
85% of the persons normal weight, based on their age and height.
People who have anorexia develop abnormal eating habits. For example,
avoiding food and meals. People who have anorexia may repeatedly check
their body weight, and some also engage in intense exercise as another
method of controlling their weight.

Body-image distortion

People who have anorexia don?t see their own thinness, often they
continue to see themselves as being fat, despite the fact that often
their bones can clearly be seen. People who have anorexia also often
deny the seriousness of their low body weight, their thinness is
considered vital to their high self esteem.

Amenorrhoea

This means the cessation of the menstrual cycle. The absence of
periods for more then 3 months is a clinical characteristic of
anorexia. The lack of the menstrual cycle is caused by the reduced
weight. There are sometimes other physical symptoms such as paleness
and loss of hair.

Characteristics of bulimia

There are five listed characteristics for bulimia.

Binge

People who develop bulimia often engage in secret binge eating. This
involves eating an excessive amount of food in a short space of time,
and feeling a lack of control over the eating during this period.

Purge

After the episode of...

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