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Anorexia Nervosa - Includes Bi

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Anorexia Nervosa

In America, girls are given the message at a very young age that in order to be happy and successful, they must be thin. Given the value which society places on being thin, it is not surprising that eating disorders are on the increase. Every time you walk into a store, you are surrounded by the images of emaciated models that appear on the covers of fashion magazines. Thousands of teenage girls are starving themselves daily in an effort to attain what the fashion industry considers to be the “ideal” figure. The average model weighs 23% less than the average woman. Maintaining a weight 20% below your expected body weight fits the criteria for the emotional eating disorder known as anorexia. Most models, according to medical standards, fit into the category of being anorexic (Thompson, Colleen).
Anorexia has been known and recognized by doctors for at least 300 years. Most researchers agree that the number of patients with this life threatening disease is increasing at an alarming rate. The Rice Counseling Center defines anorexia as “an emotional disorder characterized by an intense fear of becoming obese, lack of self-esteem and distorted body image which results in self-induced starvation”. In accordance with information given by the Counseling Center at the University of
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Virginia, the development of this disease generally begins at the age of 11 or 18. Significantly, these ages coincide with new phases of a girl’s life, the commencement and ending of adolescence. Recent estimates suggest that out of every 200 American girls between this age span, one will develop anorexia to some degree. The disease develops over a period of time during which the sufferer changes her eating patterns from normal or near normal to a very restricted diet (S.C.A.R.E.D. Website). This process can take anywhere from months to years.
Clinically, an anorexic is diagnosed by having a body weight 20% below the expected body weight of a healthy person at the same age and height of the eating disorder patient. The anorexic often becomes frightened of gaining weight and even of food itself. The patient may feel fat, even though their body weight is well below the normal weight for their height. Some also feel they do not deserve pleasure out of life and will deprive themselves of situations offe...

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...ily, friends, and the reasons she may have fallen into a pattern of self-starvation. As a patient learns more about her condition, she is often more willing to try to help herself recover. In treating anorexia nervosa, it is extremely important to remember that immediate success does not guarantee a permanent cure. Sometimes, even after successful hospital treatment and return to normal weight, patients suffer relapses. Follow-up therapy lasting three to five years is recommended if the patient is to be completely cured (Cove, Judy).

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Works Cited

Thompson, Colleen. “Society and Eating Disorders.” Mirror Mirror 19, October 1998.
Online. Available http://www.mirror-mirror.org/society.htm Accessed 23, October 1998.

Saunders, Janice. “Anorexia and Bulimia.” S.C.A.R.E.D. Online. Available http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Spa/3901/index.html Accessed 23, October 1998.

Cove, Dr. Judy. “Anorexia Nervosa General Information.” Mental Health Net Online.
Available http://www.cmhc.com Accessed 23, October 1998.

Pearson, Nanett. “A Personal Recovery Story: Starving for Attention.” Attention
Online. Available http://www.laureate.com/attention.html Accessed 31, October 1998.
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