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Anorexia Nervosa

Page history last edited by Jorgensen, Alexis 15 years, 1 month ago


Anorexia Nervosa

By: Alexis J.


A dangerous eating disorder and a catastrophe to the medical field; this describes one of the many eating disorders shown throughout the world, Anorexia. This report can only begin to describe the many things that come with eating disorders, and how dangerous they truly are.

Anorexia causes many health issues, death, and turns people against the ones they love.

The Disease

Anorexia Nervosa is when a person (usually a girl) is 15% below their average weight. Over control of eating for reduction in weight has been recognized as psychopathological behavior. Psychopathological behavior defines the symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa.

Most Common Symptoms:


Obsessive thinking


Feelings of Inferiority



Disinterest in sexuality

Delusional thinking

Paranoid fears




Shortness of breath

Obsessive calorie intake

Brittle Skin


This eating disorder affects all socioeconomic levels. Nintey-seven percent of the populationg is white people. Well over half of the 97% of white people from that list are women. Out of that 97% 92% is women. The percent for boys who have anorexia is 3% - 5%. Most common ages for this to occur around are 11-22, but it can occur in elderly people as well. There are several areas of the world this happens, but the ones that have higher percentages are: North America, Western Europe and Australia. This eating disorder has the ability to take many lives. In fact in the U.S. alone there are approximately 500,000 deaths a year. One out of every 250 adolescent girls are diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexics have a huge fear of ever becoming overweight; this is, one, because of eating habits and, two, because of the stereotypical society that is our world today. Anorexics are tricked by their own minds into thinking they are overweight but in reality they’re deathly thin.

This is a large threat to many lives, especially those belonging to young girls and women. This is because society puts an outsized emphasis upon women’s weight. As a result of that women feel self-conscious about their weight, which in turn brings anger and aggression. Some who feel overweight may keep it hidden from the ones they love, and channel that energy through controlling their weight over-obsessively.

In order to give birth to a lively, healthy baby, one must be aware they have to gain between 25-35 pounds. This is an issue running within the mind of an anorexic. Generally you have to be of average weight to have a healthy baby, let alone conceive and carry one. Women with eating disorders have a much higher risk of miscarriages or a premature baby.

Why They Do This…

It may be difficult for a family to realize someone they love is showing signs of anorexia. This is primarily because anorexics tend to hide that they’re starving themselves using eating “rituals.” Other choose to binge eat. This is where an individual will consume a sizeable amount of food, only to purge later. Although this is similar to Bulimia it is different. Bulimics remain near average weight, while anorexics are well below typical weight.

Anorexics may chop their food into tiny pieces so it appears that they’re eating more than they actually are. If she has water or diet soda it may help her to feel fuller than she is to add less calories to the equation. With this she don’t get the right amount of nutrition they needs. When someone takes a long time to eat meals, it makes it easier for someone to eat less. Using these techniques can help to make her feel as if they have some sort of new control over their diet, therefore their life.

Anorexia is a very difficult disorder to treat, however it is treatable. Even though 10% of people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa die as a result of loosing weight rapidly, you can overcome it with good care and a healthy diet. There is a better chance for treating if the illness is found earlier. Individual or group therapy is often used in the healing process. Antidepressants such as Prozac, may help relapse in individuals who’ve recovered normal weight. Some people may be in need of hospitalization and intense therapy.

Normally the usual calorie intake for someone with anorexia is under or near 1,000 calories. Their everyday meals are generally small portions, it is very rare that they are anything more than that. After eating they may decide to purge or starve themselves the rest of the day.

What Comes From This…

Nintey percent of the time anorexia is found in women. Nearly all of those diagnosed with this eating disorder are young girls or women. Anorexia is one of the most common psychiatric disorders. Between 5 and 10% of anorexics will die. This raises the psychiatric death toll up a lot. Some researchers say every 1 in 250 students are diagnosed. Others say female students between the ages of 16 - 18 years.

There are many medical problem that come with anorexia. Some of the include: dizziness, loss of concentration, irritability, serious insomnia (unable to sleep), numbness to hands and feet, depression, infections that don’t heal, bruises, short temper, low blood pressure, heart failure, dehydration, kidney failure, lowered body temperature, sunken eyes, and gray or yellowed skin-which is sometimes broken out. There are other issues that associate with the disorder, like a thin layer of hair covering the body, and dry, patchy hair (due to the loss of protein.).

Even when the outside world can see that someone is very skinny, they still see areas that need improvement. They will ordinarily focus upon the hips, thighs, and stomach. Even if they are down to 75 pounds and hospitalized they might still feel they are overweight. It has been reported that some recovered anorexics knew in their minds that they weren’t fat but their bodies believed they were. They were just afraid that once others knew this they would try to force them to eat.

Despite the physically unattractive qualities, anorexics might feel and believe they are the “fairest of them all.” Since they feel they’ve reached their goal or at least have gotten closer to their goal, they feel the need to flaunt their new physique. They feel superior to the rest of the world and they have accomplished looking “better” than everyone else.

Alexis, age 17 has loving parents and when Alexis needs help with sports or school her father is always there for her. Most girls have to beg their mothers to wear makeup, but not Alexis. Her mom came to her offering a particular shade or color. But one day at tennis practice Alexis was practicing and sprained her ankle. Once she sprained her ankle she couldn’t exercise, once she couldn’t exercise she started gaining weight. After gaining weight her popular boyfriend left her, after that she couldn’t concentrate on school and so her father got disappointed in her and her mother was so obsessed with her daughter’s looks she was upset. Everything spiraled down for her and she began to eat less and less each day. Still following that her ankle had healed and she continued on her so called “diet.” Eventually she had been diagnosed with anorexia.

Where They Come From

Ironically most anorexics come from the idolized all-American families. Upper-middle class, with one or more attractive children, and both biological parents. Mothers of anorexic daughter usually have no job specifically to devote all their time to their daughters. Some of those who develop anorexia are the average child. Pretty, smart, very far from the average “problem child.”

While some are flaunting, others are hiding. They wear baggy clothing and big shirts to cover their thinness. This again is because the fear of being forced to eat. Anyone who wants them to eat they very strongly distrust. In their minds a person trying to feed them is actually trying to control them, and take away their self-control. If they happen to be hospitalized, they regard the hospital to be the “ultimate betrayal.”



Common Terms

Intake limiting: This kind of anorexia involves extremely low calorie intake (300-600) and often is accompanied by low liquid intake as well.

Anorexia/Bulimia: This form of the eating disorder is characterized by alternation of overeating and starving. These cycles vary in length. Some may last as long as 1 day to months on end. Ordinary foods are those that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Due to rising and lowering blood sugar, it is normal for girls and women to have mood swings, that contributes to emotional chaos and feelings of incompetence. This pattern of eating and starving has no definite time span, it could run anywhere from a single day to indefinitely.

Bulimarexia: A term used to describe those who eat up to 1,500 calories a day, only to vomit it all up later to avoid weight gain.

The difference between anorexia and bulimia is anorexia is where you starve yourself and bulimia is where you eat large proportions of food and vomit.


This was merely a textbook case just a few decades ago, now within the past 20 years it has escalated and is widely seen in high school and college students. Though this is sad remember there is still hope.


Comments (2)

Barton-Wallace, Ashley said

at 4:39 pm on Feb 27, 2009

good job lexis

Price, Brittany said

at 10:55 am on Mar 10, 2009

good report Alexis. thank you for uploading on time. I'm helping Mr.kabodian

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