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Mental Illness – Bulimia Nervosa Essay

1517 words - 6 pages

IntroductionMental illnesses are defines as medical conditions that affect the way a person thinks, feels, ability to relate to others and perform normal every day functions. There are many medical conditions that can be classified and recognized as a mental illness. Some of these common types of mental illness include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders. The type of mental illness that will be covered in this assignment is eating disorder.Eating disorders can be defined as an obsession with food and weight that can harm a person’s well-being. In a society who discriminates against women or men that do not look thin, many people think that they cannot live up with these standards. In many cases people often fall victim to eating disorders. Eating disorders can cause severe health problems and, in the issue of both bulimia and anorexia, it can also lead to death. Some of the most acknowledged eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. These eating disorders have become so common here in the United States that it has been estimated that 8,000,000 or more people have an eating disorder (family doctor). One of the most serious eating disorders is Bulimia Nervosa, or Bulimia.The history of bulimia is old. Many people do not realize how far back eating disorders go. Bulimia is said to have been used back in ancient Rome. People back then would regurgitate the food they had eaten after they feasted and even had special places that were called “vomitoriums”. Many of this information has been documented in ancient Roman books. Some Roman Emperors that were known to have been bulimic were Claudius and Vitellius (Webster, I). The Egyptians would also purge themselves every month for about three consecutive days using agents such as plants to induce vomiting. Egyptians would do this to preserve their health because it was believed that human diseases came from the food that was eaten. In the Middle Ages and in Europe purging was also used as a solution for many diseases and was in fact, encouraged by their medical doctors. The practices of binging and purging that were used back then were alike but not the same to what we known as “bulimia” today. There is no known documented proof that back many years ago there was a drive to be thin. In fact women who were thin were not considered of normal shape for women.Bulimia as it is known today was an unknown disease until the late 20th century. In 1979 a doctor by the name of Gerald F. Russell published the first account of the modern bulimia nervosa. In a research that was conducted by Dr. Russell he stated that overeating and self-induced vomiting was more common in female students here in the United States attending universities. In the 1980’s cases of bulimia rose significantly and exceeded cases of anorexia nervosa.There are many myths and misconceptions that have surrounded this...

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