Anorexia Nervosa is psychological disorder where the main characteristic is the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain

a minimal normal body weight. There are neurobiological, psychological, and sociological components as well. Any actual gain or even perceived gain of weight brings on an overwhelming, intense fear by the Anorexic. Not only is there a true feeling of fear, but also once in the grasp of the disorder, Anorexics experience serious body image distortion. Anorexics participate in restrictive dieting, compulsive exercise, and laxative and diuretic abuse. Because a super-restrictive diet requires exquisite control, some may become quite careful, inhibited, and controlled in other areas of life. These individuals take extreme measures to avoid eating, such as removing themselves from an event where they know they will be pressured to eat. For example, most anorexics will isolate from family and friends or may make excuses for not participating. They are typically are obsessed with food, cooking, nutrition, and the number of calories that every piece of food contains. Although the condition primarily affects adolescent females, approximately 10% of people with the diagnosis are male. (Help Bulimia is another type of eating disorder similar to Anorexia, as it is a devastating psychological disorder, along with the same three components; neurobiological, psychological, and sociological. One major difference of the two diseases is that instead of trying to avoid food altogether they large amounts of food and vomit, to participate and taste in the act of eating, but still have control over the food by regurgitation, this is called, binge and purging. Binges usually consist of the consumption of large amounts of food in a short period. Binge eating usually occurs in secret. Some bulimics frequently use laxatives and diuretics as a means of ridding solids and liquids more quickly. Having power over what goes into their body is a big issue, so they incorporate several other methods such as, strict diets, fasts, vigorous exercise, or other

compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain. Bulimics, like Anorexics, are also completely obsessed with their body shape and weight. (Kaye, 2004, p 2215) Lastly, there is another type of serious type of eating disorder, despite the generic name given for it, EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). The name had been established as an aid for doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis for their patients. Within the scope of the description it is noted in bold, almost like a warning on a cigarette package, it states, “It is not meant to say you do not have Anorexia or Bulimia (or a combination of both sometimes known as Bulimirexia). This is a clinical group of disordered eating meant for those who suffer but do not meet all the diagnostic criteria for another specific disorder.” The patient will be diagnosed with EDNOS if the following applies. All of the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa are met except the individual has regular menses, the individual's current weight is in the normal range (despite substantial weight loss), all of the criteria for Bulimia Nervosa are met except binges occur at a frequency of less than twice a week or for a time period of 3 months or less.. They are within a normal body weight, although they regularly engage in self-induced vomiting after eating a small amount of food. The person repeatedly chews and spits out, but does not swallow, large amounts of food. (Wilfley, 2000, p 642) Currently, these types of eating disorders are more and more common. That is not to say that these diseases plainly did not exist, it means that free speech and the media’s exposure to the more “taboo” or “ugly” subject matter is widespread in the digital age. (BBC, 2000) This type of eating disorder might appear a tiny factor in their early stages, but with the passage of time, it may develop and produce numerous negative effects. However, the exact and real cause of bulimia is not known, various factors appear to cause its development, for example: As per recent studies, it had been established that eating disorders occur more frequently in relatives of people with bulimia than in others. These and other similar types of incidences appear to be

closely related to genetics, but family influences may also be a large factor. Researchers have even recommended that altered levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain also play a major role. Serotonin levels are usually interrelated to the development of clinical depression. (Kaye WH, 2004, 2216-2217) With such a wide, disconnect between the world we live in and the world we idealize, the matter of information and notification requires accepting some difficult truths. Not all parents, spouses, or significant others are engaged or involved in their loved ones inner lives. Eating disorders are often viewed as a matter of choice or lack of willpower; instead of what they are, a disease. Just as heart disease or other traditional physical malady; the stigmas attached to eating disorders are powerful and pervasive enough to cause many otherwise responsible people to ignore or deny a loved one’s health condition outside society’s zone of acceptance and empathy; even where there are strong support systems outside of the home. (CNN, 2006) Unfortunately, there are still people all over the world that don’t know where to go or how to address treatment of eating disorders and other emotionally associated conditions, even with today’s vast technology. Not all households have computers or have access to cable television. In the United States, health insurance can and often does dictates levels of treatment that an individual can receive. This can affect the individual greatly because they could be let out of the treatment facility too soon, the insurance plan might have limitations on certain types of medications they pay for, or the plan might only have certain doctors or facilities in which to choose from. (Help Researchers have found that the neurotransmitters serotonin and noepinephrine are significantly decreased in acutely ill patients suffering from Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. These neurotransmitters also function abnormally in individuals afflicted with depression. This leads some researchers to believe there may a link between these two disorders. Besides creating a

sense of physical and emotional satisfaction, the neurotransmitter serotonin also produces the effect of feeling full and having had enough food. Other brain chemicals have also been explored for their possible role in eating disorders. Individuals with eating disorders have been shown to have a higher than normal level of the hormones vasopressin and cortisol. Both of these hormones are normally released in response to physical and possible emotional stress, and may contribute to some of the dysfunction seen in eating disordered individuals. Other research has found high levels of the neuropeptide-Y and peptide-YY to be elevated in individuals suffering from Anorexia and Bulimia. These chemicals have been shown to stimulate eating behavior in laboratory animals. The hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) has been found to be low in women with Bulimia and has caused laboratory animals to feel full and stop eating. (American Psychiatric Press, 1994, 222) Preventing Relapse is just as important as the treatment. There is no easy and graceful path to recovering from an eating disorder. Relapse of an eating disorder is a very possible scenario for someone on the road to recovery. The key is to keep temporary relapses back into destructive patterns from becoming a full regression. It is important to note that relapse prevention for eating disorders is different depending on each disorder. The key thing to do if a patient fears a relapse has started is to contact the healthcare provider or therapist as soon as possible. Local support groups are in every state, they provide important information and encouragement for people with an eating disorder, as well as for their family members. (American Psychiatric Press, 1994, 301-302). Some of these support groups for eating disorders are. Overeaters' Anonymous (OA) and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) all can be found in the phonebook or on the internet.

Knowledge is a big factor in limiting chances of relapse, community health services and libraries are sources for free information.

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