Society and Anorexia Nervosa
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“Society and Anorexia Nervosa”
Anorexia Nervosa, more commonly known as mere Anorexia is a form of disease where one starve oneself. A person with anorexia may first merely want to lose a couple of pounds but suddenly a few pounds is just not enough (www.betterhealth.com). If you have Anorexia “you are afraid of getting fat, so you avoid eating” (Smith 12). The result of this self-starvation is weight loss. It is not merely the loss of weight but a loss of a tremendous amount of weight. This tremendous loss of weight can result in various physical, psychological problems and sometimes-even death (Krasnow 95). Some physical problems are hypothermia, slow/rapid heart rate and even reproductive problems (Krasnow 95). Psychological problems include severe depression and the lost of the ability to judge and reason (Krasnow 94). Hsu states that “ Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological disease which affects primarily young and healthy adolescent girls at the onset of puberty, often as they come out of high school and enters college. (231) The question posed is why does it primarily affect females? .
Society places so much emphasis on thinness, that “many females believes that in order to be beautiful you have to be thin” (Smith 21). Media plays a large part in today’s ideals. When the media – television, movies and advertising – promote this ideal it becomes difficult to ignore (Smith 21). You may think that all people are supposed to
look as thin as actors and models when in fact very few people in the world are that thin (Smith 21). This pressure that society places on females “contributes to the ritualize and obsessive attitude toward eating that leads to serious illness associated with eating disorders such as Anorexia (Hsu 235).
Recent estimates suggest that out of every 200 American girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen, one will develop Anorexia to some degree (www.betterhealth.com). In another study which derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, one to twelve girls out of every 100 will have a strong chance of developing the disorder. (1987) Anorexia Nervosa is a disease that is alarmingly growing in America. Each year about five to ten percent of every 100 females with severe Anorexia will face death (Smith 19).
Anorexia Nervosa is a severe disorder that America, in a way has developed. If society had not placed such a large emphasis on thinness, many would not suffer from it. It is sad to know that Anorexia is a disease that is preventable. People do not have to die from this particular disease. Anorexia is not a disease where it is conceived by one's will, it is a disease where present America builds into one’s mind. Life can be enriched with so much more then physical opinions, but some do not have the will power to avoid these idiotic opinions that society brings about. Death due to America’s value that thin is in and fat is out, is idiotic and unnecessary.
“Society and Anorexia Nervosa”
First, Micheal B. and Pincus, Harold Alan. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders. 4th Edition, Revised. Washington, D.C. : American Psychiatric Press, 1994.
Gunspoon, Lester M.D. and Bakalar, James J.D. Vol. 9, No. 6, Dec.1992, Article on
Eating Disorders. World Wide Web. http://www. Mentalhealth.com/mag1/p5h et03.html
Hsu, L K George. The Etiology of Anorexia Nervosa, Eating Disorders, Guilford Press,
Krasnow, Michael. My Life as a Male Anorexic. New York: Binghamton, 1996.
Levenkron, Steven. Treating and Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa, New
Hampshire:Warner Book, 1983
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Eating disorders, Psychiatric diagnosis, Abnormal psychology, RTT, Culture-bound syndromes, Anorexia nervosa, Anorexia, Thin, Hypergymnasia, National Eating Disorders Association
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