Anorexia Nervosa Essay

2695 words - 11 pages

Abstract
Could you imagine being so afraid of food and the possibility of gaining weight that you would actually starve yourself? Food and eating are pleasures of everyday life we take for granted. Having the life of an Anorexic person fills you with the constant fear of one thing “becoming fat”.
Many teen girls suffer with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder in which girls use starvation diets to try to lose weight. They starve themselves down to skeletal thinness yet still think that they are overweight. Bulimia, meanwhile, is a disorder in which young women binge on food and then force themselves to vomit. They also often use laxatives to get food out of their system. All of these ...view middle of the document...

101-102)

Introduction
The classic anorexic patient (although more and more variations are being seen) is an adolescent girl who is bright, does well in school, and is not objectively fat. She may be a few pounds overweight and begins to diet. She comes to relish the feeling of control that dieting gives her and refuses to stop. However grotesquely thin she may appear to others, she sees herself as fat. To combat the slowing of metabolism that accompanies starvation, severely restrictive eating is combined with excessive, frenetic physical activity. The term anorexia, or absence of appetite, is a misnomer because patients are often hungry and can be quite preoccupied with food. They may cook elaborate meals for others, hoard food, or establish intricate rituals around the food they do eat. These behaviors resemble those seen in some patients with obsessive-compulsive disorders, and may extend outside the arena of eating. Generally, patients with anorexia nervosa are very secretive and defensive about their eating habits and may deny any problems when confronted. They may dress in oversized clothes (in an effort to hide their wasted bodies) or refuse to have meals with others. The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is denial and preoccupation with food and weight. In fact, all eating disorders share this trait including binge eating disorder and compulsive eating.
Etiology
Anorexia Nervosa has often been associated with both being a physical and mental disease. The number one cause of anorexia has often been believed to be a low self-esteem and a distorted body image. In fact, many anorexics think they are fat when in reality they are just the normal weight for their age and height. Often one develops anorexia in order to obtain a perfect body image in their perception. The goal to obtain the perfect body results in an obsession with dieting, weight and exercise. Those who suffer from anorexia are often depressed, withdrawn, or may feel the need to be in control. They may feel that starving themselves gives them total control of their body. Also, anorexics can be perfectionists, which may cause the need to have the ideal body. Another cause of anorexia has been said to be the image produced by the media and society, which portrays the ideal person to be fit and thin. Many anorexics have been said to

believe that they only way to be considered attractive and successful was to be thin. Pressure from families and peeps has also been stated as a caused for anorexia. Comments about their appearance and weight have driven anorexics to starve themselves. As well, previous abuse has also driven people to become anorexic. According to the Health and Wellness Resource Center, the long term health complications such as congestive heart failure, sudden death, growth retardation, constipation, swelling of the salivary glands, and osteoporosis can occur during anorexia. Dental problems are also a big problem for anorexics (Longe, 2005). "My teeth...

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