Amy Rice Liberty University
This paper will focus on the subject of bulimia nervosa. Discussed on the issue will be the following key topics: historical context, cause of the illness, treatment, prevention, cross-cultural issues, and a biblical worldview. Eating disorders have been known throughout the history of time; however, bulimia nervosa is a fairly newly founded disorder in which did not get named until the late 1970’s. There is a growing need for research for this particular mental disorder. It is rapidly growing and there are more and more diagnosis with each year. Young women, in particular, are subject to developing bulimia. The question of what causes it to evolve is yet to be pinpointed. Much of society’s perspective and definition of what the ideal woman is seems to be involved in the growing diagnosis. Women that are diagnosed with bulimia nervosa run a risk of suffering long-term complications regarding their overall health: physical, emotional, and spiritual. They also are at risk of picking up additional harmful self-destructive behaviors including addiction, depression, and even suicide. In addition, the physical harm done can ultimately be fatal if no help is sought. Ongoing research is imperative to be able to accurately assess and determine the root nature of this disorder and to also have a better foundation in being able to educate, treat, and prevent it. This paper will identify, and look into important topics in related to bulimia nervosa.
Introduction Bulimia Nervosa is a disorder in which an individual participates in an unmanageable binging experience. During this event, the individual consumes much more food than one would normally intake, some extreme cases exceeding 20,000 calories in one sitting. “In addition, people with this disorder repeatedly perform inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as forcing themselves to vomit; misusing laxatives, diuretics, or enemas; fasting; or exercising excessively (Comer, 2014, p. 268). According to the DSM-5 Checklist for bulimia, to be accurately diagnosed with this disorder, one must portray the symptoms for at least three months and have an episode a minimum of one time per week. The person will also self assess themselves based on how they perceive their body image to be. The majority of sufferers of this particular illness are women, with fewer than ten percent being men. Generally, the onset of bulimia begins in the adolescent years. It can be quite challenging to diagnose because victims of this disorder often have a normal body image and appearance to the visual eye. In addition, it is normal for a person with this disorder to experience shame for what they are doing and do everything they can to keep it a secret. It can be more difficult to detect someone who is struggling with bulimia because unlike anorexia, the outward appearance is generally a normal looking one.
Generally, an individual will either purge or non-purge. For one to be considered the purging type, they do things that will attempt to get rid of what was took in by making themselves throwing up, use laxatives, or diuretics. If they do not purge, then they attempt to find other ways to propitiate such as excessive exercise or fasting. It can deadly if one does not seek help. This particular eating disorder that is becoming more common in this day and age and since it is a fairly newer diagnosed disorder, there is much more research needed pertaining to the subject.
“Bulimia nervosa was only first identified in 1979, and there has been some speculation that it may represent a new disorder rather than one that was previously overlooked” (Russell, 1997). It’s existence took on an identity of one who consumes a large amount of food and then attempts to compensate for it by purging or other ways to relieve the intake. Ever since it was first identified, those being diagnosed have rapidly increased in number.