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Report On Anorexia

1298 words - 6 pages

Anorexia Nervosa is a type of eating disorder. This scientific name can be misleading, because it actually means ‘loss of appetite for nervous reasons’. In fact, an anorexic person is very interested in food and is often very hungry. Anorexia Nervosa is more commonly known as Anorexia and is a condition associated with people starving themselves to achieve a particular body image.

Anorexia is a form of intentional self-starvation, which may begin with a normal diet that is carried to extremes, reducing calorie intake to the bare minimum. However, people with Anorexia are perpetually convinced that they are overweight, even after becoming life-threateningly thin. Anorexics tend to have ...view middle of the document...

These include:
• Lack of food deprives the body of protein and prevents the normal metabolism of fat.
• An irregular heartbeat caused by a change in the heart muscle, leading to heart failure and death.
• Ceasing of menstruation
• Dehydration, kidney stones and kidney failure
• Fine downy body hair called Lanugo, can develop on certain areas
• Wasting away of muscles, leading to weakness
• Constipation or bowel irritation
• Osteoporosis caused by lack of calcium

There are various treatments for Anorexia, including: advising group therapy, family counselling and psychotherapy, prescribing antidepressants and sometimes even force - feeding. In 1997, guidance was offered to doctors, notifying them that they can force feed anorexics over the age of 18 under the Mental Health Act 1983. “The anorexic must be shown to be incapable of making rational decisions about their condition.” This provisio is key because numerous doctors believe that, once a person's bodyweight has fallen below a certain level, they are no longer capable of making rational decisions.
However, there have been frequent extensive debates over whether anorexics should be force-fed or whether they have the right to literally starve themselves to death. Eating disorders are responsible for the highest number of deaths from psychiatric illnesses. The Eating Disorders Association estimates that about 165,000 people in the UK have eating disorders with approximately 10% dying as a result, but experts believe it could be even higher. Over 25% of anorexics are so weak that they require hospitalisation and only about 60% of anorexics recover.

Controversy circulates around this condition. Is the media to blame? Are models pushing the boundaries and pressuring women to change their body shape and weight? Should there be curvier models on the catwalk? Experts in psychology believe that the media and its emphasis on super-thin models is influencing in how people (particularly girls) perceive themselves. However, feminists argue that it is not the images in themselves that are harmful, but the fact that women still derive much of their sense of self-worth from whether they please men. Furthermore, I have studied 3 different individuals to see why they became anorexics.

Case study 1 – Lisa Butcher

Lisa Butcher is a well-known ex-model turned TV presenter, however, her experience as a catwalk model was tremendously horrific. Lisa’s day would start off with a phone call from her agent, telling her that she was not to eat at all during the day, as she had a catwalk show to prepare for. Throughout the day, she would continuously get phone calls to remind her not to eat. Before performing on the catwalk, the organisers of the...

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