Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Three of the most discussed are anorexia, bulimia, and what researchers call EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). Each of the eating disorders can be fatal in their own way. What are the signs, what do they do to you and your body, and what can be done to treat the problem? Researchers have studied long and hard into these three disorders so that those questions could be answered to the best of their ability.
In this paper, the outcomes of the research that was done and the thesis in which was given shall be discussed.
Anorexia nervosa is the most “known” eating disorder to people. Everyone has heard about anorexia and people with it just “starve” themselves. Anorexia is actually a lot deeper than just not eating, it has more complex reasons to it. Anorexia is mainly about self-image. People with anorexia have the physical capability to tolerate extreme self-imposed weight loss, with food restriction as only one aspect of the practices to lose weight (Morris, J.
& Twaddle, S. , 2007) A lot of people with anorexia also over exercise and do whatever activities they can to burn calories.
They often choose to stand instead of sitting, generate opportunities to be active, are drawn to sports, athletics, and dance. They also believe in self-induced vomiting, misusing laxatives, diuretics, and “slimming medicines. ” They also do “body checks”, which involve constantly weighing, measuring, mirror gazing, and other obsessive behaviors to reassure themselves that they are still thin (Morris, J. & Twaddle, S. , 2007). Having anorexia can cause major health issues on top of everything. Due to starvation the heart can be affected, rregular heart beat known as sinus bradycardia, it also causes dehydration and electrolyte imbalances which can cause death (Morris, J. & Twaddle, S. , 2007). They might experience constipation, damage stomach nerves, and may cause medication poisoning(Morris, J. & Twaddle, S. , 2007). Yes, all these things are dangerous to one’s health. The treatments for anorexia nervosa include short-term weight gain. The overall prognosis for patients with anorexia is dependant of wether treatment is received or not (Morris, J. & Twaddle, S. , 2007).
Some people with eating disorders wait until the very last moment to even attempt to get help because they don’t see that they have a problem. Bulimia nervosa is a second eating disorder that needs attention drawn to it. Bulimia was pretty much unknown before the mid 1970’s (Dippel, N. & Becknal, K. , 1987). Bulimia consists of binging and purging (eating as much as possible and then throwing it up). In a study that was conducted it was found that after bulimics had attempted several diets without success, they then became aware of vomiting or laxatives as a means to weight loss (Herzog, 1982).
The symptoms of bulimia heave to do with preoccupations with food, weight, body image, and ridding themselves of ingested food (Dippel, N. & Becknal, K. , 1987). Most people throw up because they feel guilty for consuming all the foods they know they shouldn’t have. They vomit not only to get rid of the food but to get rid of any unwanted feelings and emotions. Most patients begin purging approximately 1 year after the binge eating has started. As scary as the facts may sound, what is even scarier is the affects bulimia can have on a person’s health.
Dental erosion from gastric acid and parotid swelling are subtle changes (Levin, 1980). Extensive decay can result from the chronic exposure to gastric acid (vomiting). Along with “rotting teeth”, stomach ulcers, involuntary vomiting, sore throats, and rectal bleeding can occur (Brockopp, 1984: Herzog, 1982). Bulimics can lose electrolytes from all the vomiting, thus causing dehydration and low levels of potassium intake, which can ultimately result in cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for people with bulimia (Evans, 1968).
The best known treatment at the time for bulimia may include elements from family therapy, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, drug therapy, and support groups (Pope, 1984). EDNOS (eating disorders not otherwise specified) is the third eating disorder that needs attention. Although different from anorexia and bulimia in a sense, it also has some of the same identifying factors. In EDNOS, a patient’s presentation doesn’t meet the criteria for anorexia or bulimia. It does however, comprise disordered eating patterns and experiences of distress or impairment in daily life (APA, 2000; Schwitzer, et al. 1998). A lot of times people with EDNOS have more of behavioral issues or problems. Some of the symptoms of EDNOS consist of mood and anxiety problems, moderate depression, periods of suicidal idealation, and body related issues (Schwitzer et al. , 1998). Women with this disorder often seem to experience a combination of low self-esteem and perfectionism (Peck & Lightsey, 2008; Schwitzer et al. , 1998). A lot of times, the women with this disorder are considered “mentally fragile. ” Behavior would be the biggest issue with EDNOS.
People with this disorder(mostly women) tend to be really needy and often have intrapersonal struggles with their families (Schwitzer et al. , 1998). EDNOS doesn’t really have any physical causes on health, as much as it does on one’s mental health. People wanting to/ or attempting suicide would be the biggest issue of course. Being overly anxious and stress could also harm the body and one’s health. The three methods that are offered as treatment are: preventative intervention, intermediate intervention, and psychotherapeutic intervention (Schwitzer et al. 1998). All of these treatments involve some sort of counseling just by different methods. The ultimate goal of these three methods would be to decrease the amount of cases of EDNOS in the near future. Eating disorders plague the world, our world, day after day. Being a full-time student myself, I took an interest in the subject. I wanted to know all the facts about the different eating disorders that are out there. With the research of my articles, I was able to get my questions answered in detail.
Researchers took an interest in the subject because eating disorders are becoming widespread and wreaking havoc amongst our youth and our adolescents. It’s only natural that they would want to seek out the answers to help treat and maintain the problem if possible. I learned a great deal with this research on anorexia, bulimia, and EDNOS. Everything ranging from the definitions and signs, to the affects on health and possible treatments was addressed for me. I now have a greater understanding of eating disorders.
Cite this Eating Disorders Nowadays
Eating Disorders Nowadays. (2016, Nov 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/eating-disorders-nowadays/