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Anorexia Nervosa: Self-Starvation

Uploaded by Sully88 on Dec 29, 2001

Anorexia nervosa is a life threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain fifteen percent of a normal body weight through self-starvation (NAMI 1). Ninety-five percent of anorexics are women between the ages of twelve and eighteen, however, “…in the past twenty years, this disorder has become a growing threat to high school and college students”(Maloney and Kranz 60). Anorexia produces a multitude of symptoms, and if not treated, anorexia can lead to permanent physical damage or death.

Anorexic behavior is complex because it is all about the need for control. Someone suffering from anorexia has a distorted body image of himself or herself. He/she believes to be overweight, even though twenty percent of the time he/she is not (Yancey 59). The image of being overweight causes a low self-esteem. Symptoms of low self-esteem are loneliness, inadequacy in talents, a lack of trust in people and themselves, insecurity, identification with a specific peer group, and sadness. The media displays the ideal human body as thin and beautiful. Anorexic’s lives are full of confusion and lack of control. To the anorexic, to be thin is to be in control. The state of control to the anorexic is the ideal life without confusion and difficulties. In most cases, the anorexic is intelligent; popular among his/her peers, athletic, talented, and viewed as a role model to most people he/she comes in contact with. In reality, the issues in daily living are too difficult for the anorexic resulting in a lack of control in his/her life. The anorexic’s answer to a confusing life is to starve the body. The behavioral symptoms of the anorexia are counting calories, eating little food, baking treats for everyone and giving them away in hope of controlling not only the anorexic’s intake of his/her food, but also others. “Playing” with food at meal times is common behavior of the anorexic. When the meal is complete, the anorexic has disguised food intake by pushing the food around on the plate and hiding food in napkins. To dress in layers to hide the distinct weight loss and to avoid social activities where eating is involved are common behavioral symptoms. Behavioral symptoms of the anorexic can go unnoticed by most people. These symptoms are very secretive and oblivious to outsiders because the behavior is not out of the ordinary. Although the behavioral symptoms of the anorexic appear to be ordinary, the sum...

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Uploaded by:   Sully88

Date:   12/29/2001

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,560 words)

Views:   1744

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