Eating Disorders, Hard to Crack

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Anorexia.jpgThe two most common eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia, are commonly addressed, but what is the underlying cause of these dangerous diseases? I haven't seen a clear answer yet, or maybe it just hasn't been satisfying to me. The book says that bulimia is influenced by genetic factors, but also majority is from sociocultural expectations. I want to know what genes cause these diseases, is it a common mutation, or is it just passed down? Anorexia is one of the most life-threatening psychological conditions (Lilienfeld). I had at least 4 girls in high school in my larger group of friends that all became anorexic the summer prior to senior year. Two of them so severe that they were thankfully taken to treatment, but the other two were not for whatever reason. One that went to treatment a year ago is still struggling and does not look an inch bigger than when she was admitted to the rehabilitation center. She is no longer attending rehab, but i fear that she should be. Of all the 4 girls, one of them is doing better and gaining back weight in a positive way. I don't understand, I've heard it's difficult to gain back that weight, so is it a slow process and maybe that's why only one of the girls looks better? It's something that has always worried me and I'd be very interested to know the process of rehab for these diseases. Here is an example to show that it can truly be a disease that kills, so sad but very real.


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You've provided a great example of how anorexic/bulimic people view themselves. I see this most commonly in women. I think its because of the media-- which leaves a negative impact on a lot of women/girls to look skinny. I think in order to cure yourself from these diseases you really have to work on telling yourself that you are beautiful no matter what size you are. I think this is why only one of your friends were successfully healing from this disorder. Your other friends are probably still thinking that they are not skinny enough and are struggling more to overcome the disorder. It is indeed a sad reality.

I've always been fascinated by eating disorders and the way they can completely control a person's life. This admittedly weird obsession has led me to read some very sad, very horrifying stories. Anorexia Nervosa is a dangerous disease that can spiral out of control extremely fast. It's so hard to treat because the origin is all in the patient's head - a carefully crafted structure of lies, low self-esteem, and a constant pressure to be perfect.

I've never quite understood eating disorders. They are a psychological disorder, but what would compel a person to stop eating, or eat so much that they are guilty about it and throw it up. When I miss breakfast or lunch I get really dizzy and feel sick to my stomach. I can't imagine how someone with anorexia feels after not eating for a long period of time.

Nice thoughts. This is truly a scary and dangerous disorder. I think the reason it is so difficult for people to overcome is because it can be addicting...If we think in terms of operant conditioning, at least for bulimia, we can see: The person feels guilty for binging (Antecededent), then throws up (the behavior), which leads the person to feel better (Consequence) which is a negatively reinforcing cyle! (Think of the rat who stops the electric shock when it presses a bar). You also talk about genetics, and while there may be a genetic influence, I think, as with most behaviors, that there is an interaction of environment with genetics.

I think the idea of nurture within families may be a strong force in the generation of body image and, perhaps, eating disorders. Think of how little girls are treated when they get all dolled up for family get-togethers like Christmas or Easter. As a kid, I was always bombarded with "You are so beautiful" at these events. It's a form of reward that was not present on everyday occasions when I would wear play clothes. It forms the idea that our appearances are important and may determine if we're treated positively or negatively. Also, children often mimic their parents so seeing mom complain about her weight may also be a trigger to make a child be self-conscious about their weight. This would be an example where it would be tough to separate the influences of nature and nurture.

I do not like the idea of bulimia and anorexia but I think that is because of the way I was brought up to believe what"beautiful" is. I think the reason t is hard for girls to gain back weight is because they are so used to throwing up after eating that it may become an automatic response to eating. Or perhaps the people affected by it are so invested the idea that large is ugly that they refuse to even try to eat at time. I do not know I hope this problem goes away because it disgusts me.

This is indeed an interesting yet sad topic. I think the picture you post sheds great light on the socioeconomic origins of eating disorders.Although there is a biological basis for these diseases, I tend to believe that the social and cultural factors are the biggest contributors to such disease.One of my roommates is suffering from certain degree of anorexia. She always denies it though. She is super thin yet she insists that her legs are super fat,so she eats little everyday and goes on an irregular diet.Meanwhile,she suffers from frequent stomachache, which I think might be a symptom of eating disorders.

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This page contains a single entry by pete8968 published on April 7, 2012 7:58 PM.

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