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The Thick & Thin of It...Eating Disorders

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Essay title: The Thick & Thin of It...Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

One of the most prevalent disorders amongst the youth of this era is eating disorders. While some overlook it and don’t think it is a problem eating disorders should be given serious consideration. This is because the psychological ramification of eating disorders tends to have lasting effects over the course of the adolescents’ life.

An eating disorder is any of various psychological disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, which involves insufficient or excessive food intake. They are a silent epidemic and a exceedingly negative response to a misinterpretation of one’s role in the world. Adolescents with eating disorders are usually convinced they’re ugly, worthless, and untalented. While some overlook it and don’t think it is a problem it should be given serious consideration because the psychological ramifications of such a disorder has lasting effects over the course of the adolescents life. While eating disorders are a serious problem there are two distinct forms of eating disorders. One is anorexia and the other is bulimia.

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity. This is also known as the "starvation sickness" or the "dieter’s disease". Statistics show that 95% of all anorexics are women found primarily in upper-middle class homes ranging from ages 12 to 18. (Maloney, 81). A person dealing with this sort of disorder is usually, striving for perfection has low self-esteem, and sometimes feels they don’t deserve to eat.

Anorexia usually starts when they or someone else feels that the anorexic needs to lose some weight. They feel good when they start losing the weight because they feel they have reached and made progress on their goal. Unfortunately, this causes physical damage and sometimes-even death. Statistics have estimated about 10% will eventually die. (Patterson, 31). Although as an adolescent most go on a diet and give it up in about a week or two, anorexics don’t. If one is suffering from this they have signs and symptoms such as: noticeable weight loss, excessive exercising, odd eating habits, feeling cold, dressing in baggy clothes, irregular menstruation, a frequent feeling of insecurity, loneliness, inadequacy, and helplessness.

There is no one single reason for anorexia, or how it goes unnoticed, but there are some explanations. One is that the person is not satisfied with the shape or size of their body. Family stress along with stress within themselves, such as a break-up, first time having sexual intercourse, an unwanted pregnancy, and a separation from parents, can be others. Also, feeling that the only thing they can control in their lives is the food that they eat especially if they have very controlling parents, or boyfriends. Finally, models, teen idols, and movie stars are role models for most teenagers, and the popular look is thin or the most recent description is called the lollypop look. This is a major part of it because adolescents tend to compare themselves to these role models and are taught that sexy is thin and this is the way to be noticed. The major source of this is through television, movies and magazines.

Bulimia, on the other hand, is characterized by massive food binges followed by self-induced vomiting or use of diuretics and laxatives to avoid weight gain. The word bulimia comes from the two Greek words, bous meaning cow and limos meaning hunger. Unlike anorexics, bulimics come from all economic levels, develop this disorder between 15 and 24 years of age, and are more likely to seek help because they realize they have a problem. Most people dealing with this disorder are attractive, successful women with no apparent weight problem.

Bulimia usually starts when the person is under tension, usually associated with a change or a disappointment. They turn to food for comfort and eventually gain weight. Finally they start dieting followed by binging and purging. They also feel that this behavior is a way for them to be in total control of their eating, weight, shape, and image.

Since bulimics are very secretive and the disorder usually has little

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