1. What causes Anorexia Nervosa?
There are many possible causes of this lifestyle disease. These include psychological causes, biological causes and may it may also arise from family and social pressures (Melinda Smith, 2014).
• Psychological Causes
Research has proven that the teenagers that are most at risk for becoming anorexic are the stereotypical ‘over-achieving’ teenagers (Melinda Smith, 2014). These individuals appear to excel in everything that they do, and are usually obedient to their parents (Melinda Smith, 2014). Most of their peers will think that they are happy and in control of everything in their lives, however these teenagers usually feel inadequate and helpless (Melinda Smith, 2014). They then feel that the one thing that they do have control of in life is their weight and body image. This, coupled with the negative emotions they feel about themselves causes them to view themselves in a very negative light (Melinda Smith, 2014). This then leads to the distorted body image that starts the vicious cycle of anorexia.
• Biological Causes
It has been proven that teenagers with siblings who have anorexia, or who come from families where anorexia is common are 10 to 20 more times at risk of becoming anorexic than teenagers who do not (Melinda Smith, 2014). Once a teenager starts becoming anorexic, the brain starts to decrease the secretion of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine (Melinda Smith, 2014). These are the hormones that are asso...
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...13 to 15, 50% believe that they are overweight (Disorders, 2014)
• Only 1 in every 10 eating disorders is treated (Disorders, 2014).
• 80% of patients who do receive treatment do not receive sufficient treatment (Disorders, 2014)
• Even with treatment, approximately 3% of individuals suffering from anorexia will die (Disorders, 2014).
• Only 60% of sufferers make a full recovery, 20% make a partial recovery but are still in danger of becoming anorexic again and 20% do not recover at all (Disorders, 2014).
There are little to no statistics on anorexia in South Africa, as it is not yet a very common disease. However, articles suggest that if data was collected, the statistics would be almost identical (Disorders, 2014). It is however noted that 90% of sufferers are female (Alexander, 2007) and that most commonly it occurs in young adults (Alexander, 2007).
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