Essay on Eating Disorders Are Not Categorized Into One Illness

Essay on Eating Disorders Are Not Categorized Into One Illness

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Eating disorders are not categorized into one illness; there are three subcategories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. “Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.” (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005). It is a common misconception that people who suffer from E.D. are easy to point out; this is not true. Approximately 24 million Americans are touched by this disorder yet only 10% seek treatment. An individual who is affected may appear to look normal or even healthy on the outside, but in their minds they are battling vicious thoughts about their own bodies. There is a high social stigma surrounding this disease; some may feel ashamed to have a voice concerning this topic due to the complexity it involves to break it down. Despite the graphic and horrific results of eating disorders, it is proven that they are not only physical, but psychological as well because the motive behind such extreme eating habits, or lack thereof, are the taunting thoughts which suggests a distorted body image to those who are affected.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “there is a commonly held view that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are actually serious
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and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder.” (NIMH). Researchers are discovering that eating disorders are influenced by an interaction of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors. Those who suffer are often silently attempting to cope with t...


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...s should try to understand their circumstances rather than dismissing or creating misconceptions against them. Even merely suspecting that someone could have a mental illness is enough to address it with that person or someone who could diagnose it.
Facing E.D. should always be taken seriously. The long journey of it, emotions, thoughts, and the toll it takes on an individual can affect not only one person but also their loved ones. Some may face it for years at a time, other have a quicker recovery process. Far too many people are uneducated on these illnesses and more attention should be paid in order to bring awareness to them. “There is medical and scientific evidence that anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are as heritable as other psychiatric conditions (e.g. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression) that are considered biologically based.” (Fassihi).

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