You are on page 1of 7

Aryal Gansowski November 20, 2013 English 101 Research paper

Eating disorders Imagine not being able to control the way you eat. Control what you eat or how much. Instead of enjoying your food you count every calorie, every bite. You don’t worry about taste, or if you like it. You worry about what people will think if they see you eating. Imagine looking in the mirror at your 5’ foot 75 pound body, every bone sticking out of your skin. Looking like you’ve been sick or deprived from nutrients for months and even years. When you look in the mirror you don’t see what everyone else sees, a girl starving herself for everyone’s approval. You see a woman in the mirror 300 pounds at least staring back at you. You’d do anything to feel normal, look like everyone else. Whatever it takes. Weather it means starving yourself or binge eating and vomiting it all up later. This is what people with eating disorders go through every single day. An eating disorder is defined as any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. In other words an eating disorder is when someone has trouble psychologically and this causes their eating habits to be weird or disturbed. There are many different types of eating disorders. Although anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most heard of maybe even most common, they are not the only types of eating disorders. There

are four different types of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or eating disorders not otherwise specified (ed-nos). Each of these different branches has something that makes them unique in their own way. Anorexia nervosa is probably one of the most heard about eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where the victims starve themselves and excessively exercise. Anorexia has many different symtoms. Some of the symptoms of anorexia are showing resistance to maintain normal body weight, fear of gaining weight even though normal or underweight, loss of menstrual cycle and hair and many more. A lot of people who suffer from anorexia are in denial about what they are actually doing to themselves. Anorexia has many warning signs also. Some of the warning signs of anorexia include, dramatic weight loss, always worried about counting calories, fat grams and are what seems to be obsessively dieting, refusing to eat certain foods. Victims of anorexia also have major anxiety over weight gain, denial of hunger and an unhealthy need to burn off calories. Self- starvation and anorexia go hand in hand. People with anorexia deprive their body from the proper nutrients it needs to do every day activities. So there body has to slow down. This “slowing down” can have serious health consequences on the body. Some of these health problems include kidney failure, muscle weakness, reduction of bone density, even heart failure which can result in death. Anorexia nervosa is a very serious medical condition, and it just one of the many eating disorders. (nationaleatingdisorders.org/anorexianervosa) Bulimia nervosa is also a very serious type of eating disorder. Bulimia nervosa is known as people who self-induce vomit to make up for the consequences of binge eating. Some of the symptoms for bulimia nervosa would include, a regular intake of large amount of foods, this is usually accompanied by loss of control over eating behaviors, Regular use of behaviors to help

them cope with their binge eating. Such as laxative use, self-induced vomiting, fasting, or obsessive compulsive exercise. Another symptom of bulimia is extreme concern over body weight and shape. Bulimia has many warning signs also. Evidence of binge eating, which would include disappearance of large amounts of food in a small amount of time, evidence of purging behavior which is frequent trips to the bathroom right after eating. They may seem longer than usual. They feel the need to burn off excess calories. Unusual swelling of jaw and calluses on back of knuckles due to self induced vomiting are just a few of the warning sign that accompany bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is very serious and can be extremely harmful to the body. The binging and purging on a regular basis can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances that may have effect in major organs in your body including the heart. (nationaleatingdisorder.org/bulimianervosa) Eating disorders not otherwise specified or (ed-nos) are not very heard of. People who suffer with and ed-nos have a variety of symptoms for anorexia as well as bulimia. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa involve extreme emotions that are surrounded by food and weight issues. Before being diagnosed with an ed-nos the symptoms of bulimia and anorexia should be looked at. Examples of ednos include having all the symptoms of anorexia but still receiving your menstrual period or being normal or above normal weight. Purging but not binging, in other words throwing up but still eating normal amounts. Purging or other commentary behavior that occur less frequently than someone who has bulimia. Even chewing large amounts of foods but spitting out and not swallowing. Ed-nos sufferers are not usually heard of because they do not meet all of the symptoms for just one eating disorder, they meet it for many. (nationaleatingdisorders.org/eating-disorders-not-otherwise-specified-ednos)

Binge eating disorder is a common form of an eating disorder not otherwise specialized. Bing eating disorder is most recognized by recurrent binge eating without doing anything to compensate for it. People with binge eating disorder may suffer from eating large amounts of food in a short period of time. Feeling like they are out of control of behavior while they are binging. These viticims often feel guilty or disgusted by their own behavior. They may also eat when they are not hungry, may insist in eating along because they are embarrassed of the among they consume, or they keep eating until they are uncomfortably full. Those were just a few of the symptoms that people with binge eating disorder may have. Binge eating disorder is mostly associated with people who are overweight or obese. They may suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and many more. Although binge eating disorder is not a much known eating disorder it still shouldn’t go untreated. (nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder) These eating disorders have many alarming statistics. Almost 50% of those who suffer with any type of eating disorder meet the criteria for depression. Only 1 in 10 viticims who suffer with an eating disorder receive some sort of treatment. Eating disorders take place all over the world. 24 million people within the United States suffer from an eating disorder. Even though a majority of the victims are women there are men who suffer from eating disorders as well. An estimated 10-15% of anorexia sufferers are male. Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because they view it as a “woman’s disease”. As you know eating disorders are life threatening. The mortally statistics are as follows: 4% for anorexia nervosa, 3.9% for bulimia nervosa, and 5.2% for eating disorders not otherwise specialized. Even though they have the lowest death rates of most mental diseases, there are still people who die from this every day. (anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics)

As you can see eating disorders are a very serious psychological disease and you many wonder where it all began. There are cases of eating disorders that date back hundreds of years. These symptoms were perceived as what was normal for each era. There are stories of people starving themselves which is a symptom of anorexia, but there aren’t that many of bingepurging which could relate to bulimia. There are stories of vomiting after eating that date back to the roman period. It wasn’t until the European cultures were influced by western era religion that fasting and starving became more common. (Latzer, Merrick, stein, 2011) Even though eating disorders became more common when Hollywood came about and movies which portrayed a certain body image. Syptoms of eating disorders did in fact start hundreds of years ago. To gather some more information on the subject of eating disorders. I conducted an interview with a friend of mine who has suffered from bulimia nervosa. She has gone through a lot and although has had help and treatment had told me she still suffers every day. For my first question I decided to get right to the hard stuff. I asked her when she first started binging and purging. “Although I grew up a little heavier than most kids, I never thought of myself as any different. Until one day in 8th grade I was at lunch and this boy looked at me and said you dint need to eat that fatso. My friends insisted that I ignore him, but I ran right to the bathroom after that, and forced my fingers in my throat and up came what little lunch I ate. After that I did it once a week, then every day. I joined sports to exercise and convinced myself that I needed extra training. I would tell my parents that practice would run late so they weren’t suspicious” My next question was, when did you first realize this was a problem? “When I was 16. A few of my friends wanted me to go out after volleyball practice, but of course I said no I had to go home. When in reality I just wanted to stay and exercise. One of the girls had forgotten there bag and came back in to find me exercising. I tried to come up with every excuse but she still managed to

drag me out. We went out to a friendly’s and after eating I immediately went to the bathroom. The same friend who found me in the gym heard me in the bathroom and figured out what was going on.” Think about how hard that must have been for her to be so vulnerable. My next question was how did you come to get help? “Well to be honest I never wanted to get help at all. My mom actually found me one thanksgiving dinner. In the bathroom, in my usual glory. She then dragged me to counseling. I’m glad she did though because my life is changed for the better.” The interview changed my perception on eating disorders a lot. I used to think that it was something they did because they wanted to, but in reality, it dictates their whole life. It’s something you cannot really control, Eating disorders are very serious medical conditions that can lead to health consequences and even death. Men and women of all ages suffer from eating disorders. It is said that eating disorders are the cause of movies and television. Young girls and women see this as a way you are saposed to look. (Fox-Kales, 2011) Many of these people are unaware that there is even a problem. Anorexia, bulimia, and ed-nos all have different symptoms and are all equally as serious. Luckily there are many counseling and treatment centers that these patients can go to for help. Eating disorders are a large problem around the world. We need to raise awareness of the symptoms and the seriousness of eating disorders.

Bibliography -George, Sarah. Personal interview. 15 Nov. 2013 -Latzer Yael, Merrick Joav, Stein Daniel: Integrating Culture, Psychology and Culture. Hauppauge. Nova science publishers inc, 2011 -Fox-Kales, Emily: Body Shots Hollywood and the Culture of Eating Disorders. Albany. State University of New York press, 2011 -“bulimia nervosa” “anorexia nervosa” “Eating disorders not otherwise specialized (ed-nos)” “Binge Eating Disorder” Nationaleatingdisorders.org 11/20/2013 http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/general-information -“eating Disorder Statistics” anad.org 11/20/2013 http://www.anad.org/get-information/abouteating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/