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Anorexia vs. Bulimia

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In today’s society many people are affected by eating disorders and their deadly side effects. Two of the most common eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are often confused for one another because they each share many of the same qualities; however, each disorder has its own distinct behaviors that make it quite different from the other.

Because each disorder is serious and can be deadly, it is important for people to understand each one individually in order to be able to distinguish each disorder from the other.

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In comparison, both eating disorders involve dangerous behaviors that the victims of the disorders believe to either aid in the loss of weight or prevent the gain of weight. The victims of both disorders generally have poor self-images and emotional stress that is often accompanied by feelings of guilt and depression. Another strong comparison to make between anorexia and bulimia is that psychologists have yet to find out if the causes of the disorders are from genetics, the environment, or a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

Most theories today conclude that both disorders stem from a combination of genetic factors, such as chemical imbalances in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, and environmental factors, such as the value of slenderness and the rejection of obesity. Another strong comparison is that both disorders are found to be much more common among females than males. In contrast, the two eating disorders vary from each other in that each disorder has its own distinct practices and behaviors in which its victims partake.

Practices for victims of anorexia nervosa include refusal to eat any kind of food and denial that their behaviors and unhealthy appearance are unusual. Practices for victims of bulimia nervosa differ in that the victims will binge on incredibly large and abnormal quantities of food and then purge, which is often done by either inducing vomit or taking laxatives, in order to rid their bodies of the large mass of food in which they consumed while binging. While both sets of behaviors can lead to serious health problems, including death, it is evident that each disorder takes its own distinct path of destruction.

Although it is known that both anorexia and bulimia have very negative consequences, each disorder has different effects upon its victims. For example, victims of anorexia nervosa are usually skeleton-like in appearance and many do not ever acquire happiness for their appearances until they starve themselves to death. On the opposite end, victims of bulimia nervosa often stay at an average weight and are never satisfied with their appearance because the disorder does not actually allow them to lose the amount of weight in which they originally intended to lose.

Also, while most victims of anorexia, about 15% to 20% (Kagan and Segal 1995), starve to death, victims of bulimia usually die from heart failure, which occurs when the binging-and-purging cycles and use of drugs lead to chemical imbalances. Because both disorders are similar in that they involve a constant preoccupation with food and a strong fear of being overweight, they each take to different roads when it comes to how each affects its victims.

Often times, with both disorders, it is unrealistic ideals concerning female body sizes that make it more common for females to experience an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. Whatever the causes may be, both disorders can have dire consequences that often lead victims into vicious cycles that can be very difficult to treat. Whether an anorexic victim refuses to eat, or a bulimic victim binges and purges, the end results are unhealthy and harmful.

Cite this Anorexia vs. Bulimia

Anorexia vs. Bulimia. (2017, Mar 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/anorexia-vs-bulimia/

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