Types of Psychological Eating Disorder Essay Example
People nowadays, mainly girls, are obsessed with their bodies and are concerned about how they look. This kind of obsessions may grow into an eating disorders and usually become serious problems. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia cause weight disorder, interfere with normal daily life, and damage vital body functions. Basically, eating disorders involve self-critical, negative thoughts and feelings about body weight and food, and eating habits that damage normal body function and daily activities. It is sad, but many teens successfully hide eating disorders from their families for months or even years.
Anorexia is a type of eating disorder. Victims of anorexia have fear of gaining weight, they limit the amount of food they eat and can become extremely thin. It usually starts as dieting, but it may get out of control, and as a result, person is thinking about food, dieting, and weight all the time. It is extremely important to diagnose the problem as early as possible and start treatment, because anorexia can become a lifelong problem. Victims of anorexia often strongly deny that they have a problem. Despite the fact that they are dramatically thin, they see obese person in the mirror, that is why it is psychological disorder. People with anorexia become focused on controlling their weight: they strictly limit their food intake, they exercise a lot even when they are sick, vomit or use laxatives or water pills to avoid weight gain. As a result they feel weak, tired, they have thinning hair, dry skin, have low blood pressure and a slow heartbeat.
Bulimia is also a type of psychological eating disorder, but it is different from anorexia. Bulimia is characterized by binge-eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control like vomiting, fasting, use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Bulimia is close to anorexia because it is also characterized by shape and weight concerns. Unlike victims of anorexia, who are obviously very thin, people with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be even overweight. As well as people with anorexia, individuals suffering from bulimia often deny their condition. In& case of anorexia people limit themselves in food consumptions, sometimes it may be just an apple a day. Victims of bulimia, on the contrary, consume huge quantities of food. A person with bulimia often feels a loss of control over their eating as well as guilt over their behavior. The most common symptoms of bulimia are: strict dieting, purging, fasting, vomiting, using the bathroom frequently after meals, depression, mood swings, heartburn, dental problems caused by repeated exposure to acidic gastric contents.
Comparison Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa
It is obvious that bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are very similar. They both are considered to be mental disorders. They usually begin after dieting by people who are fearful of becoming obese, who are preoccupied with food, weight, and appearance. They have constant depression, anxiety, and need to be perfect. Both of these eating disorders are marked by disturbed attitudes towards eating. The main difference is that anorexia is the starvation that usually occurs with people, when they pathological fear of becoming fat, and bulimia is also pathological fear, but it results in hunger attacks, when excessive food intakes are followed by purging to avoid weight gain. During bulimia deep hunger results in eating large amounts of food, which then becomes so frightening an experience that the person seeks to purge the calories.
To sum up what was said above, the following differences between anorexia and bulimia have to be pointed out: anorexic individuals avoid food, while bulimic ones frequently have binge-eating attacks; anorexia usually occurs in teenage girls while bulimia tends to affect women in their early to mid-twenties.
Victims of anorexia lose the most weight while bulimic individuals are less obsessive about their weight but still scared of gaining extra pounds. It is said, that anorexia is much more difficult to treat than bulimia. Usually, anorexic individuals must undergo hospitalization and suicide watch while being treated for this disease. Therapy is also recommended for individuals suffering from bulimia, but hospitalization if often rare. In order to help person suffering from bulimia, antidepressant medication is often prescribed.