Eating Disorders

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An eating disorder is an extreme expression of emotion, distress, or inner problems. An eating disorder can be compared to drug use or self mutilation as a way to relieve pain or stress. Food or the denial of food becomes the drug of choice and is used to numb painful feelings. There are three main types of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, also known as compulsive eating disorder. Anorexia Nervosa is an extremely abnormal fear of gaining weight, a distorted self image, a refusal to eat and severe weight loss. Ninety-five to eighty-five percent of cases of anorexia in the United States are female, five to fifteen percent are male. About one in every one hundred female adolescents has anorexia. One in every ten cases of anorexia ends in death. Anorexia is characterized by extreme weight loss and restrictive dieting. Physical symptoms of anorexia nervosa are losing a lot of weight in a short time, continuing a diet even when extremely thin, having unusual eating habits, the stopping of menstrual periods in females and exercising obsessively. Psychological symptoms of anorexia are feeling dissatisfied with appearance and believing the body is fat, being fascinated with food, eating in secret and feeling depressed. Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder, common especially among young women of normal or nearly normal weight, which is characterized by binge eating and followed by feelings of guilt and depression. It is often associated with measures taken to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, the use of laxatives, dieting, or fasting. Ninety percent of those diagnosed with bulimia are female, ten percent are male. Bulimia affects one to three percent of middle and high sch... ... middle of paper ... afraid that you can’t stop bingeing on your own. As well as physical problems, eating disorders cause serious mental health problems. It is not clear which comes first, the psychological problem or the physical problem but they are both very serious to a persons well being. The psychological effects of eating disorders are depression, which can become so severe that it leads to suicide, feelings of being out of control and helpless, anxiety and self doubt, guilt, shame, paranoia, fear of discovery, obsessive thoughts, compulsive behaviors, especially around food, feeling lonely and feelings of hopelessness. Eating disorders can be cured with help but can cause serious mental and physical health problems. Eating disorders should not be handled lightly and taken care of at the first signs of symptoms before permanent damage can occur to the body and the brain.
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