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Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide for Families, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 671

Research Paper

Human civilization constantly faces health problems, in spite of a high level of technology and scientific achievements. The rhythm of the XXI century is extremely rapid, and one can not properly get used to this stream of life, forgetting about his/her health. One of the most spread health disorders all over the world is eating disorders. More and more people with typical symptoms address doctors for treatments. Knowing how to avoid visits to doctors is more effective when one is informed about causes, symptoms and treatments of eating disorders.

Eating disorders are disorders in human health that are connected with insufficient or excessive intake of food. Researchers refer them to psychiatric types of illnesses that require proper treatment. Victims of such disorders can be female and male (females have a higher percentage of these illnesses), both adolescents and children. In “Eating Disorders”, Gabriella Melos states that “eating disorders are common among adolescent girls and young women and are associated with potentially serious medical complications, which often go undetected and untreated” (Maj, Hulmi, Lopez-Ibor and Sartorius, 2003, p. 218). There are many types of eating disorders, but the most frequent eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa (Maj et al., 2003).

Bulimia nervosa refers to the type of eating disorders that are characterized by binge eating and excessive intake of food. Patients suffer from constant hunger, and that is why they consume food a lot. Gabriela Melos writes in her article that “the somatic complications of bulimia nervosa can be dangerous, although little is known about the long-term prognosis of patients with untreated bulimia nervosa” (Maj et al., 2003, p. 435). This illness is accompanied by psychiatric problems: the feeling of guilt and low self-esteem. It is usually followed by vomiting and causes malfunctioning of different organs. It weakens nervous system and may lead to obesity.

Anorexia nervosa is another type of eating disorder that is characterized by insufficient consume of food. Janet Treasure (1997) believes that “for the person with anorexia nervosa, losing weight becomes a way of life with no end point” (p. 5). The author analyses this disease from the psychological point of view. “When anorexia strikes an individual and her family everyone is thrown into confusion by the mixture of emotions that emerge. One of the strongest is fear” (Treasure, 1997, p. 168). Constant fear of food changes patients’ opinion about food intake, and they rapidly lose their weight. As bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa is also a complex disease that worsens of a human organism. Both bulimia and anorexia are dangerous illnesses, and can be mortal, if they are not diagnosed in time.

Researchers can not state with confidence what exactly can cause these diseases, but it is clear that such disorders are caused by several factors: physiological, psychic (emotional), social, and individual ones. Metabolism disorder and hormonal disbalance, conflicts in relationships and stress, person’s complexes and false beliefs can lead to bulimia and anorexia. The process of treatment and recuperation is difficult and analgesic (Treasure, 1997). The victims of these disorders should cope with fear and diffidence, and address to a doctor when first symptoms are revealed.  The most effective treatment is professional hospital treatment with psychiatric sessions. If a patient starts the necessary treatment in time, it can save him from unfavorable consequences of these illnesses (Treasure, 1997).

Only attentive attitude to one’s health can save him/her from diseases. If a person is an active member of society, with health worldview and positive thinking, it is possible to prevent any illness. Nobody is secured from health problems, but females are constant victims of such eating disorders as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Knowledge of causes, symptoms and treatment of theses diseases can help a person detects them and speeds up the process of treatment.

References

Maj, M., Hulmi, K., Lopez-Ibor, J.J. and Sartorius N. (2003). WPA Series Evidence and Experience in Psychiatry (Volume 6). Eating disorders. West Sussex (UK): John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Treasure J. (1997). Anorexia nervosa: a survival guide for families, friends and suffers. East Sussex (UK): Psychology Press Ltd.

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