psychology: male eating disorders

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Eating Disorders are psychological disorders that result from a drive to be thin. They are broken down into three categories, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is diagnosed according to the DSM-III-R in individuals with body weight that is significantly lower than the norm, extremely concerned with weight and shape, distorted self-image, and an absence of three consecutive menstrual periods, in women. Bulimia Nervosa is diagnosed according to the DSM-III-R in individuals who have recurrent binge eating episodes, have weight and shape concerns, have a lack of control over such behavior, and have compensatory behaviors (e.g., vomiting, fasting, misuse of laxatives, or excessive exercise). Binge eating disorder has much of the same criteria as Bulimia Nervosa with the exception of the compensatory behaviors. This study has several goals. First, the authors compare men with eating disorders to women with eating disorders, specifically to find clinical similarities. Because eating disorders are considered rare in men, the authors set out to investigate the differences between the two sexes. Second, the authors wanted to find differences in men with eating disorders and normal men. The authors also set out to find a representative sample that would provide the greatest validity. Concentrating on men with eating disorders, the authors also were looking for a correlation between eating disorders and other psychological disorders, such as affective disorder, anti-social personality disorder, and substance abuse. On the subject of sexual orientation, the authors explain, "...although an obvious area of investigation, (sexual orientation) was deemed too sensitive a topic for a government-sponsored survey and unfortunately was not assessed". METHOD Subjects Sixty-two men meeting the DSM-III-R criteria of an eating disorder, 212 women with equivalent eating disorders, and a control group of 3,769 men who had no presence of an eating disorder. Measures Community survey. Random houses were selected in Ontario. From each household an individual aged fifteen years and older was chosen at random and then administered the Mental Health Supplement to the Ontario Health Survey. The individual was then asked to submit written informed consent prior to the interview. A sample size of 9, 953 individuals was obtained by these means. Subject reduction. Using the University of Michigan's version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview, the subjects were narrowed down. During this process, individuals were interviewed for one to two hours by trained interviewers. The subjects were assessed for anxiety disorders, substance use and or abuse, affective disorders, anti-social personality disorder, and of course eating disorders.

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