Anorexia and Bulimia: What Puts The "Die" in Dieting

by Michael Russell - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 501 Share This!

The media has a powerful influence on trends -- be it fashion, music, or the arts. Media has a huge effect on health trends too - even the ones that aren't healthy at all. Stick - thin models with impossible waistlines grace the pages of glossy magazines, or are seen gloriously sashaying down runways. It's no wonder that impressionable young girls get distorted ideas of what their bodies should look like. Coupled with peer pressure and the desire to feel beautiful, they become driven to copy the images they see on print and on T.V. - even if this means starving themselves to death, literally. Anorexia and Bulimia are the most common eating disorders among young women today. It is especially difficult to treat these disorders since the causes are emotionally and psychologically rooted. If you have friends or family members who you suspect are anorexic or bulimic, the first step in reaching out to them is to understand the nature of these disorders. Read on for more information.

. Anorexia Nervosa - persons suffering from this disorder usually have an abnormal fear of being perceived as fat or getting fat. People who have low self - esteem and have a history of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse are especially vulnerable. Psychologists believe that anorexia has a lot to do with needing to gain control over emotions and surroundings. Stress, unhappiness, or sometimes - a feeling that one does not deserve to get pleasure out of life, thus depriving themselves of pleasurable activities - eating being one of them, may trigger it. Anorexics have a distorted body image and may think that they are too fat; when in reality they are already dangerously underweight. Anorexic behavior includes restriction of food or starvation, obsessive exercise, using laxatives or diet pills to control weight and bulimic-like episodes of self - induced vomiting.

. Bulimia Nervosa - this disorder has several similarities with Anorexia, one of them being a presence of low self - esteem among sufferers. Anorexics may also experience bulimic episodes along with other Anorexia symptoms. Bulimia is characterized by "binge and purge" sessions - when the individual eats excessive amounts of food in a relatively short period of time - then purges themselves through self - induced vomiting or taking laxatives to cope with their guilt. Most bulimics are aware that they have a disorder - but hang on to their binging and purging habits because of deeper emotional issues - it could be a means of letting out feelings of depression, anger, or stress. Self - induced vomiting and the misuse of laxatives are not the only means that bulimics use to punish themselves. They may try to compensate instead with fasting and excessive exercise.

These eating disorders can lead to severe health deterioration and eventual death if not given proper attention. If you think you have any of these disorders, or if you know anyone who seems to be showing symptoms, seek professional help immediately. Anorexia and Bulimia are conditions that worsen with time; necessary actions for the treatment of these disorders should be taken as early as possible.

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