Describe The Symptoms Of The Major Illness Anorexia Nervosa And Discuss How The Symptoms Impact On An Individual's Day To Day Life.

1864 words - 7 pages

For the purpose of this assignment the writer will focus on defining anorexia, its signs and symptoms, possible causes of the eating disorder, how it can be treated and examining personal stories of people who have experienced the illness. The author aims to examine the eating disorder anorexia nervosa through the revision of comprehensive information from books and websites.Anorexia nervosa involves the rentless pursuit of thinness through starvation and can eventually lead to death but full recovery is possible with appropriate support and treatment (Davison & Neale, 2001). Anorexia can affect both males and females of all ages. It is most common amongst girls and young women. About 10% of males suffer from anorexia. Many factors combine to make any one person more vulnerable to anorexia than another and these factors vary from person to person. Anorexia is not primarily about food and weight issues or about slimming. As with all eating disorders the psychological issues and emotional distress underlying the physical symptoms must be addressed for long-term recovery to be possible (Sullivan, 1995). Although the word anorexia literally means loss of appetite, this does not accurately describe what a person experiences (Bodywhys, 2006), the author will examine the symptoms of anorexia nervosa and using evidence from personal experience of individuals who have suffered anorexia will describe the impact on the individuals day-today life.Defining Anorexia NervosaAnorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by the deliberate refusal to eat enough to maintain a normal body weight. As a result, both the body and the mind are starved of the nutrients needed for healthy, balanced functioning (bodywhys, 2006). the main characteristics of anorexia nervosa are to weigh less than 85%of what is considered normal for age and height. Having an intense fear of gaining weight that does not decrease with weight loss and having a distorted body image (Santrock, 2005). Even though people with anorexia are extremely thin, they still see themselves as being fat, especially in areas like the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. They never feel thin enough and look regularly at the mirror criticising themselves. They weigh themselves frequently (Dohm et al, 2001, Cited in Santock, 2005).The person’s appetite is suppressed and has an intense interest in food. The people feel a sense of achievement and in control of their lives when they loose weight. Restriction of food intake often begins with the gradual elimination of high calorie foods from the diet and prefers a vegetarian diet. This may seem normal at first but becomes more obvious as the disorder progresses. Other means of maintaining low body weight might include fasting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and the use of laxatives, diuretics or appetite suppressants (bodywhys, 2006).Signs and SymptomsPhysical signs and symptomsThe physical signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa include being...

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