Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa, The Most Visible Eating Disorder

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“Anorexia Nervosa, AN, the most visible eating disorder, is a serious psychiatric illness characterized by an inability to maintain a normal body weight or, in individuals still growing, failure to make expected increases in weight (and often height) and bone density.” (cite textbook) The behaviors and cognitions of individuals with AN adamantly defend low body weight. In the PBS Nova documentary entitled, “Dying to be Thin”, the audience is introduced to the world of professional dance where incidents of Anorexia almost appear to be an occupational hazard as demands for thinness prevail in the dance world. The film explains that dancer’s tend to be abnormally thin, often 15% below ideal weight, which is the equivalent of an anorexic weight. Today the profession recognizes that this is a deadly psychiatric disorder which leads to numerous health concerns including malnutrition, low blood pressure, Osteoporosis, kidney and liver problems, and potentially heart failure. The industry is actively addressing these health concerns. In the film the audience was shown how dance industry is now providing health services to dancers to openly and aggressively work to prevent and treat eating disorders. These services included routine bone density screenings and time off for treatment when needed. The film touched upon evidence of eating disorders in women throughout history even dating back to the 14th century where female religious figures restricted eating as penitential acts of faith and sacrifice. The film discussed how the disorder tends to mirror the cultural attitudes of the day. One film contributor noted that historically appetite control appears to have be used a voice for women throughout history dictated by... ... middle of paper ... ...patients viewed as the benefits of their diseases. One study looked at patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and the other at patients with Bulimia Nervosa (BN).. Disease treatment is often challenging because patients are resistant, particularly those with Anorexia. The researchers wanted to better understand what patients viewed positively about their conditions in an effort to further explore treatment approaches. Most studies prior to these studies focused on the population factors and the negative psychological and medical consequences of the disease. The researchers asked samples of both AN and BN groups to write two letters to their disorders, one as a friend and the other viewing their disease as a foe. As the letters were reviewed the researchers identified common themes and were able to develop a coding system to analyze the prevalent themes and viewpoints.

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