Anorexia: Anorexia Nervosa and Earlier Anorexia Essay

Submitted By msawick2
Words: 1105
Pages: 5

Anorexia Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological disorder. People who have anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight. They limit the amount of food they eat and become dangerously thin. They have a distorted body image and an irrational fear of becoming overweight. It affects both the body and the mind. It may start as dieting but it gets out of control. A person with anorexia weighs much less then what they should be. Their body mass index is at 17.5 or less, they have a severe fear of putting on weight and refuse to stay at a normal weight. They obsess about food, weight and dieting, strictly limit how much they eat. They also exercise a lot even when they are sick. Anorexia usually starts in the teen years. According to an article written by Jane Morris and Sara Twaddle, called Anorexia Nervosa, (2007) “anorexia is twice as common in teenage girls, with an average age of onset of 15 years; 80-90 percent of patients with anorexia are females.” This article summarizes the causes of anorexia. There is no single cause. You may be more likely to have anorexia if other people in your family have an eating disorder, you have a job or do a sport that stresses body size such as modeling, you are the type of person who tries to be perfect all the time or you are dealing with a stressful life event such as divorce. Many women who were sexually abused as children are more likely to develop eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. This article also talks about treatments, it takes an average of 5 to 6 years to fully recovery from anorexia. Medical condition must be stabilized before psychological treatment. Patients may be tube fed for a time until they begin to eat enough on their own. Then psychological treatment beings. They may expose the patient to complications such as infections and exposing them to a “proanorexia” culture, which is showing them other patients who have anorexia. The earlier anorexia is diagnosed the better it is to treat. 76 percent start between ages 11 and 20. It is much more common in females than males. 6 percent of anorexia patients die and half of deaths result in suicide. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate for any mental illness. Patients with anorexia are obsessed with food and often eat in bizarre ways. According to Ben-Tovim (1988), “patients misperceive their own body image and claim to feel fat despite being manifestly thing, they may also be misperceiving the size and possibly other qualities of their food.” (p. 1689) Kyle Killian, Fearing Fat: A Literature Review of Family Systems Understanding and Treatments of Anorexia. Anorexia is a complex disorder, it is a mental illness but also involves serious medical complications. This includes, hypotension, which is low blood pressure, slow heart beat, irregular heart beats, low levels of potassium, magnesium and sodium. anemia, dehydration, hormonal imbalance, kidney and liver disorders, ulcers and osteoporosis. Anorectics may experience depressed mood and sleep disturbances as well. The diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa is weight loss of 15 percent or more below their expected weight, they have an intense fear of becoming overweight, body image disturbance and the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. There are many sociological factors that cause anorexia. The influence of social class, race, birth order, broken homes and parental age at time of patients birth are all factors. According to Killian (1994), “a sociocultural factor that contributes to the creation of eating disorders is the subordinate position of women in society. Social norms have taught women to be passive, dependent and satisfied with limited control over their lives. An anorexic may feel and/or look inadequate and both frequently require physical care. Anorexia allows women a degree of power in their lives.” (p. 313) For Anorexia Nervosa there are many treatments. One of these is a structural family therapy. In examining the