Dying to be Thin
Instructor Jessica Green
May 9, 2014
Miller-Motte College Wilmington
Dying to be Thin
Anorexia and bulimia are the most common eating disorders today. They are both psychological disorders with an obsession of food and weight. There are many misconceptions in today’s society about anorexia and bulimia. Mainly that they are the same disorder, nevertheless they are not, they are very different. Anorexia and bulimia are serious, life threatening eating disorders that affect millions of people every year, however their differences in symptoms, effects, and treatment might surprise you.
Eating disorders are complex and devastating, they are so common that 1 or 2 out of every 100 students struggle with one. (“Eating disorder,n.d.”) Anorexia and bulimia are not lifestyle choices, they are serious disorder with possible life threatening consequences. Both eating disorders include extreme attitudes toward weight and food issues. Most people believe they are one in the same although they do have similarities their differences are quite remarkable. Anorexics have an intense fear of gaining weight. They deprive themselves of food resulting in extreme weight loss. Anorexics have an inability to see the severity of their eating disorder. They look in the mirror and do not see a skinny person, they see an overweight person. Their body perception is distorted. On the contrary, bulimics consume large amounts of food and induce vomiting to expel it. They have an “out of control” feeling when they are eating. They often feel guilty about overeating. They to have issues with body image and will exercise excessively and use laxatives to reduce their weight. Most people that suffer from bulimia recognize their problem they just have that out of control feeling during binge episodes.
The symptoms of anorexia and bulimia differ in many ways. The most obvious to the eye is weight loss. With anorexic patients the weight loss is extremely reduced, making it obvious to notice. This takes a serious toll on their body. Women commonly have absent menstruation, dry skin and hair loss. A downy layer of hair grows over their body in an effort to keep the body warm. Their immune system is compromised significantly. They also have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. (“Anorexia vs. Bulimia, n.d.”) In contrast bulimic symptoms are quite different, most of their most obvious symptoms are primarily in their digestive system. Their weight loss tends to not be noticed, it is usually in the normal range. They have normal menstruation cycles and do not have many changes to their physical appearance. Their mortality rate is very low. They do suffer from brittle nails, dry skin and occasional hair loss. Binge eating occurs in 100% of the patients and must be present for diagnosis. (“Anorexia vs. Bulimia n.d.”) Some common symptoms they share are depression, fatigue and heart failure. Many bulimic patients have a...