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Eating Disorders: The Different Types

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Eating Disorders:

The Different Types

Over the last several decades many teenagers are extremely concerned about the way the look whether it's to them or to the opposite sex. Those same teenagers are looking at celebrities bodies in magazines and are becoming self-conscious about the body image compared to those celebrities. Unfortunately, in some cases, the concern these teens have for their bodies turns into something way more serious then how they look to the public. These teens are becoming more obsessed with their looks are developing a serious illness called an eating disorder.

An eating disorder is a serious illness that develops when a person has become self-conscious about the way they look to society. Eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, cause a dramatic change in weight, interferes with a person's way of dealing with life, and damages vital human body functions. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are the two major illnesses classified as eating disorders but there are also two minor disorders. Compulsive Overeating is when a person is caught in the vicious cycle of binge eating and depression and Night-Eating Syndrome is when the affected person wakes up multiple times during the night and is unable to fall back to sleep unless they eat some sort of food. All four of these disorders need to be taken seriously and should not be brushed off as nothing is wrong.

Having an eating disorder means that a person involves themselves in self-critical, negative thoughts and feelings about their body weight and food intake, and have eating habits that disrupts a persons normal body functions and daily activities. (Kids Health, 2008). Eating disorders affect some several million people at any given time, most often women between the ages of 12 and 35.Even though eating disorders usually happens to women some men can have an eating disorder as well. In America eating disorders are so common that one or two out of every one hundred kids will struggle with at least one of the four eating disorders. Unfortunately, many of the young people that have these disorders do an excellent job at hiding the symptoms from their loved ones. Teenagers can hide the fact that they have eating disorder for months or even years at a time and nobody will suspect that anything is wrong with them. The way eating disorders are caused in unknown even to this day but it is believed that a combination of psychological, genetic, social, and family factors all play a role in the development of an eating disorder. There is a huge gap between the way a person sees them and the way they actually look to the public. For girls, influences like pictures of models in magazines may pressure theses girls to be thin because to society thin is considered sexy or beautiful. With influences like this, the young women in America are getting more and more self-conscious about the way they look. This problem is not only just for women but men also feel pressured to be like models. Boys who participate in sports where weight is an issue and often boys

who experience issues regarding sexual identity are at risk of developing eating disorders as well. With self-consciousness on a downward slope it could cause an increase in the amount of eating disorder cases. Stress is also considered to be a factor in the development of eating disorders. Young teenagers that are also under a lot of stress can be subjected to eating disorders as a way to relieve the stress that is put on them by society. It does not matter if it is stress from school work or from a certain boy that a girl may have her eye on, stress is a factor in eating disorders. In many cases, eating disorders occur together with other psychiatric disorders like anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, and alcohol and drug abuse problems. Being a person suffering from an eating disorder and a psychiatric disorder can and will take a toll on the human body. New evidence suggests that heredity may play a part in why certain people develop eating disorders, but these disorders also affect many people who have no prior family history of eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa is shown by low body weight and body image distortion, with an obsessive like fear of gaining any amount of weight, even if it is just a pound. Individual people that suffer with anorexia are known to control body weight most commonly by forcing themselves into voluntarily starvation, purging, excessive exercise or other weight control measures, such as diet pills or diuretic drugs. Some people even go as far as to not eat for several days at a time. People with anorexia continue to think they are overweight even after they become extremely thin, are very ill or near death. Often they will develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat

in front of other people. Sometimes the individuals will prepare big meals for others while refusing to eat any of it. For a person to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa they must display certain characteristics that are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or also called the DSM-IV-TR. The four characteristics the DSM-IV states are as followed:

1. Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height

2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese in any way

3. Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

4. The absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles in women who have had their first menstrual period but have not yet gone through menopause.

Some physical characteristics that do describe an anorexia patient have a Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight).

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