DEP Research Paper

Submitted By Myles-Christian
Words: 3117
Pages: 13

Myles Christian
November 18, 2014
DEP 2004
Dr. Vehec
Deciphering the World of Eating Disorders

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million med suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not other specified (EDNOS) (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011). When someone first sees that number, they often would think that it seems like far too high of a statistic. The fact of the matter is though that the average American does not know all the different kinds of eating disorders someone could have, nor do they know how to accurately classify them if asked. Eating disorders are not just a passing phase that the individual is going through. They are life threating psychological diseases that one must battle for the rest of their lives to whatever degree that may be. An eating disorder can be defined by having abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This could range from starving one’s self, alike to anorexia nervosa, all the way to binge eating and possibly purging, alike to binge eating disorder and/or bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders often center around a distorted few of one’s body image, not the food itself as it is much more of a psychological than physical disorder. In fact, almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression. ( Sadly enough, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of any other mental illness because of the fact that only about 1 out of 10 men and women receive treatment for their eating disorder. Often times, by the time the disease is identified, it is too late to help. Let’s take Charlotte Seddon’s story for example. ( She was a A student in school and won many awards. She had friends and an active social life. At first glance, you wouldn’t have guessed the demons this girl was facing at just 17 years old. Charlotte was suffering from the common eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa partnered with low self-esteem and depression. Charlotte, like many victims of anorexia, attempted to hide this disease from her friends, family, and loved ones. She would often say she had already eaten when offered food to make it seem like she wasn’t skipping meals. She battled this hard disease for four years before conditions got so bad that she finally agreed to receive help from her parents and a facility specializing in helping people who suffer from eating disorders. Tragically after being home for just ten days after being discharged from the facility, Charlotte passed away. The doctors had stated that the muscles around her heart had been weakened to the point of no return from prolonged lacked of nutrients. In fact, her heart weighed an astonishing 6.7 oz when the average heart weighs around 11.3 oz for a woman her size. ( This is a clear example giving credit to the statistic that only about 1 in 10 people receive treatment for their disease. Many of the people who suffer from eating disorders try to keep it to themselves because they are either embarrassed or cannot identify that they have a disease on their own. In Charlotte’s case, she had written detailed accounts of her battle with her eating disorder and depression yet she came to no one for help until it was too late. Her family now urges other families so not worry about upsetting or “calling out” the person on their disease and to focus on the health of the individual first and foremost. Charlotte is nowhere near the only one to be in the situation she was in. Anorexia Nervosa is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents. It is a disorder marked by a persistent refusal to eat and an irrational fear of being overweight (Human Development, Kail, Cavanaugh, 2013) Once again, it is important to emphasis that anorexia nervosa is a psychological disease and doesn’t have to do with specific types of food or situations. When suffering