There are different afflictions which affect millions of individuals throughout the country. Many of these afflictions are debilitating and cause problems not only for the patients but also for the significant persons near him or her. However, of these many conditions, some pose not only serious mental conditions but also grave physical problems as well.
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One of these is anorexia nervosa. With regard to this, I have confronted with the question of what exactly is anorexia and how does it affect an individual, who should know about it. Moreover, what are the causes of anorexia and how it can be prevented from developing? In response to this, the writer wishes to state that the purpose of this paper is to present a brief outline of anorexia and its causes to the millions of Americans out there without knowledge about it.
To understand the cause of anorexia, the reader must understand what anorexia is. Anorexia is a eating disorder characterized by severely low body weight and distortion of body image. Despite the fact that their appearances may be severely malnourished and skeletal, anorexic clients tend to believe that they are still fat. Moreover, anorexic patients are extremely afraid of gaining weight. To avoid this, they engage themselves upon weight-losing activities such as exercise, going insofar as to purge, vomit, drink slimming pills and diuretics, and self-starve which can lead to death. It primarily affects women though ten percent are known to be men. It is very complex as to involve psychological, sociological, physiological, and neurobiological aspects of living (Lask & Bryant-Waugh, 2000).
There is no single cause of anorexia and more commonly, it is the result of numerous factors in life. One of the presumed causes is on genetics. According to recent studies, genetics play a significant role in the inheritance of genes which may contribute to the development of eating disorders among individuals (Klump et al, 2001 p. 218). In addition to this, nutritional factors are also blamed for anorexia. According to nutritionists, a deficiency in Zinc may lead to the loss of appetite in people which eventually develops into anorexia nervosa.
However, despite the findings involving genetics and nutrition, psychosocial factors are still considered as the most contributing factor to the progress of anorexia in a client. Findings suggest that people with anorexia tend to have low self-esteems and believe that they are not attractive. Moreover, the society’s notion that fat people are not beautiful is also regarded as a contributing factor to the rise in number of anorexic clients. Anorexics are commonly high-achieving people and characterizes by perfectionism and an ability to resist temptation.
As stated, societal notions of the ideal body for a woman also affect anorexics. Since researchers believe that obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression is comorbid with anorexia, the continuous pressure to gain the ideal body prompts women to become obsessed with weight loss, especially among the high achievers. Furthermore, females from well-to-do white families are the ones at high risk of developing the disorder. Aside from this, women working on jobs demanding ideal bodies such as modeling and advertising are at risk of having anorexia due to popular demands for thin models.
In conclusion, anorexia nervosa, as well as other eating disorders, is an alarming condition in people which needs intense attention and treatment. Since no prevention can be used to delay or stop the disorder, early detection should be the priority. Moreover, social norms regarding the definition of beauty should never be emphasized. Instead, healthy lifestyle should be encouraged without regard of the trends in society which, more often than not, cause low self-esteem in many, especially in children and adolescents who are at the age of rapid assimilation of ideas and notions. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa affect each and every one of us. Therefore, it is best to promote health in lieu of clichéd and often wrong beliefs regarding the ideals of beauty among men and women.
Lask, B., & Bryant-Waugh, R. (2000). Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence.Psychology Press.
Klump, K.L., Kaye, W.H., & Strober, M. (2001). The Evolving Genetic Foundations of Eating Disorders. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 215-225.