Today, both anorexia and bulimia are the most common eating disorders and affect almost 15 percent of American teenagers. Eating disorders are fifteen times more likely to occur in adolescent girls than adolescent boys. They can be fatal and thousands die from every year but this is one mental illness that can be beaten. Anorexia is increasing more rapidly in developed countries than in underdeveloped countries. Bulimia is becoming the more common type of eating disorder among teens. It is difficult to diagnose because many bulimics are deeply ashamed of their rituals and few share their problems with close friends (4). If these two eating disorders are becoming more and more widespread around the world and occurring in a certain age group, then is there a common chemical imbalance or erroneous thought process that leads to such behavior? If so, then how can these eating disorders be handled?
The distinct factor that separates anorexia nervosa from bulimia nervosa is the binging-vomiting/purging cycle and the role it serves in the maintenance of body weight for the sufferer (4). Bulimics are usually within normal weight range while anorexics are extremely underweight. The difference between anorexic and bulimic people are that bulimics can spend all day planning their next binge, while anorexics can spend all day thinking about what they can’t eat at their next meal. When recovering from the eating disorder those with anorexia work at valuing the accomplishments they’ve made, while those with bulimia work at gaining control of their lives (2).
Surveys show that people with anorexia tend to have high intelligence, and superior scholastic performance, but the two almost overwhelmingly consis...
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...psychological and sexual intimacy and the development of normal stress-management skills suffer." (4)
1) Abraham, Suzanne. Eating Disorders, the Facts. Oxford University Press, 1992.
2)Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia: Adolescent Self Image
3)Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa
4) Scott, Derek. Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. New York University Press, 1988.
6) Mitchell, James E. Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia, Diagnosis and Treatment. University of Minnesota, 1985.
7)Cognitive Behavior Therapy: The Basics
8)Health: Brain chemicals may cause Bulimia
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