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Anorexia Nervosa

Uploaded by skullcrusherz666 on Aug 06, 2001

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimal normal body weight. A disturbance in perception of body shape and weight is an essential feature of anorexia nervosa. It appears to be far more present in industrialized societies, in which there is an abundance amount of food and in which being considered attractive is linked to being thin. The disorder is most common in countries like the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. More than 95% of cases of anorexia nervosa occur in females between the ages of 14 and 45 years. Most researchers agree that out of every 200 American girls between the ages of 12 and 18, one will develop anorexia to some degree. Therapists find that persons with anorexia usually lack self-esteem and feel they can gain admiration and attention by losing weight and becoming thin.

There is no single cause of anorexia nervosa, because it’s a complex disorder with multiple causes that may be different for every person. From what is know it seems that this is a disorder of many causes that come together to produce the illness. These recognized causes include the nature of the personality of the girl herself, aspects of her family its members and relationships, and stresses and problems occurring outside the home, often at school. There is an increase risk in families in which there are other anorexics and this probably indicates a genetic cause also. Some theorists have pointed to socialcultural factors as potential causes for anorexia. Distorted body images and dissatisfaction on the part of anorexia patients may be influenced by how weight is portrayed in the media and our cultural values about women’s appearance.

Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder of self-starvation that has both physical and psychological consequences. The first physical signs of anorexia nervosa include emaciation, constipation, dry skin and brittle nails. As the heart muscle deteriorates, the rhythm often changes putting the anorexic at risk of heart attacks. Malnutrition and starvation place the anorexia patient at risk for bone loss, infertility and osteoporosis. Starvation places the body under a great deal of stress, increasing the rates of kidney failure, heart failure, and respiratory infections. As the disorder progresses, the psychological consequences become evident. The previously hard-working, over-achieving perfectionist becomes less interested in activities that once brought her pleasure. She experiences difficulty concentrating, loses interest in school, and focuses more on intensive exercise and dieting....

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Uploaded by:   skullcrusherz666

Date:   08/06/2001

Category:   Biology

Length:   3 pages (666 words)

Views:   2197

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