Eating Disorders PRESENTED BY: LAURA VOKEY AND JASMIN BRACE A Silent Killer Definition of Anorexia and Bulimia
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Anorexia Nervosa – is an eating disorder characterized by an unrealistic fear of weight gain, self starvation and a distortion of body image. It is often accompanied by self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, malnutrition, amenorrhea, and other physiological changes.
Bulimia - A chronic eating disorder involving repeated and secretive episodes of eating, characterized by uncontrolled rapid ingestion of large quantities of food over a short period of time, followed by self-induced vomiting, purging, use of laxatives, and anorexia accompanied by feelings of guilt, depression, or self-disgust
The numbers seem to be increasing. Twenty years ago it was thought that for every 10-15 women with anorexia or bulimia, there was one man. Today researchers find that for every four females with anorexia, there is one male, and for every 8-11 females with bulimia, there is one male. (American Journal of Psychiatry, 2001: 158: 570-574)
Bulimia and Anorexia are common in both males and females. Eating disorders are equal among both sexes. Although after binge sessions followed by purging women often feel guilty withholding a sense of failure. On the other hand men are less likely to have these feelings because of societal factors.
Many more women are diagnosed with eating disorders even though men have the very same problem but are being misdiagnosed by doctors who see eating disorders as a “woman’s problem.”
When I was first hospitalized for anorexia, my doctor said to me "Claire, you are obviously in a lot of pain. Why don't you try using your voice instead of your body to tell me that you are hurting, to tell me what you need?" This baffled me at that time--I didn't need anything. I was "above" having needs--I didn't need even the basics of food, sleep, attention. No, I wasn't hurting--I was just "fat".
Years later, I look back and realize that she was right. Not only did I have needs, I needed my needs to be met. Not only was I hurting, but I needed comfort, understanding and human connection. But how? I couldn't ask for help--that would be weak, lazy, slothful..."fat". I was terrified of using my voice to ask for ask for love or attention or t even admit that I had needs at all. Who did I think I was? How dare I think that I deserve the time or attention from another person? I finally began to understand my need to disappear...
Treatment for both disorders involves both the mind and body since this is not simply a physical affliction. There are many types of therapy including behavioral techniques, psychotherapy for improved self esteem, and nutritional therapy.
Treatment is extremely difficult when handling these patients because over 95% of people with the disorders deny they have them and resist help.
Treatment is necessary because the effects of the disorders have an extreme effect on the mind and body and can easily result in death.