Describe The Eating Disorders: Their Symptoms, How Each Theoretical Perspective Describes Their Cause And Treats Each One, And Your Personal Opinion On Eating Disorders.

1875 words - 8 pages

In the last 30 years or so, society has become practically obsessed with appearance and specifically weight. In the United States, thinness has become generally equivalent to beauty and health. Along this time, there has been a positive correlation of eating disorders: the more obsessed our culture is with weight, the more people that are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.The first eating disorder that has been steadily increasing in the United States is anorexia nervosa. Signs that a person might have this disorder, as mandated by the DSM, are refusal to maintain body weight above a minimally normal weight for age and height, intense fear of gaining weight despite being underweight, disturbed body perception, undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation, denial of the seriousness of the current low weight, and amenorrhea, or the cessation of menstrual cycles, in postmenarcheal females. There are two different kinds of anorexia nervosa: restricting-type anorexia nervosa and binge-eating/purging-type anorexia nervosa. People with restricting-type anorexia nervosa reduce their weight by restricting their intake of food. This usually begins with the person cutting out sweets and fatty foods, until eventually there is no variability in their diet because they have removed almost everything. Those with binge-eating/purging-type anorexia nervosa engage in eating binges and then lose weight by forcing themselves to vomit after meals or by abusing laxatives or diuretics.There are more symptoms of anorexia nervosa other than those listed by the DSM to look for. Clinical symptoms include the person being preoccupied with food. For example, they may spend considerable time thinking or reading about food and planning their meals. Some people have even reported that their dreams are filled with images of food and eating. Persons with this disorder also think in distorted ways and have a very low opinion of their body shape. They are said to overestimate their body size tremendously as well, which ties into the characteristic of being a perfectionist that most anorexia patients have. This characteristic typically precedes the onset of eating disorder. Another symptom of these persons is displaying psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Medical symptoms that are involved with this disorder include amenorrhea (mentioned above), lowered body temperature, low blood pressure, body swelling, reduced bone mineral density, slow heart rate, metabolic and electrolyte imbalances, rough and cracked skin, brittle nails, and cold and blue hands and feet. Some people lose hair from their scalp and grow lanugo, which is the hair that covers newborns, on their trunk, extremities, and face.The next eating disorder is bulimia nervosa or binge-purge syndrome. The difference between this and anorexia nervosa is that starvation is not involved. Instead, binges, which are episodes of uncontrollable eating, are repeated....

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