Throughout all that I have learned so far in psychology, one topic stands out that is very relevant to my family and myself. Both of my parents suffer from anxiety. My father suffers infrequent panic attacks in which he usually feels he can't breathe. My mother on the other hand is an excessive worrier and often experiences panic attacks while driving. I haven't been present during one of my dad's panic attacks but I have viewed many of my mom's. In the past I thought her fears were just silly and was never very helpful during these situations. After what I have learned in psychology, I am more understanding and sensitive of my parents' anxiety. I know realize that even though my mother's fears may seem completely irrational, she can't help it. And although I haven't seen any of my father's panic attacks, I know that difficulty breathing is common of anxiety sufferers and am better prepared to handle this kind of situation. This class has informed me about anxiety and prepared me for any future panic attacks my parents might have. The textbook has also taught me that genetics can influence anxiety disorders, so it's possible that I might even develop anxiety just like my parents. If that happens, I feel my knowledge as a result of this course has better prepared me for this possibility.
odde0051: April 2012 Archives
When reading the part in chapter 11 of the textbook that describes eating disorders, I couldn't help but think instantly of an episode of Dr. Phil that I had previously watched. The episode is called "Deadly Thin" and I've attached a link to the first part of the episode. Aimee is anorexic and bulimic and weighs in at only 60 pounds. She has suffered from an eating disorder for sixteen years. This is a very severe case of anorexia and bulimia. Aimee constantly restricts her caloric intake, but when she does eat, she binges and purges, often purging up to 150 times a day.
Watching Aimee's episode really opened my eyes to how severe eating disorders can get. I had a family friend who was once hospitalized due to her anorexia, but I have never before seen anyone as thin as Aimee. I can't imagine living my life the way she does. All of her thoughts are about food and calories, planning out what she will eat and how she will get it out of her body. It would be so miserable to eat a few bites of food only to purge it a minute later and continue to do this several times throughout just one meal. Eating disorders are very serious and I think that this video really depicts the emotional toll that disordered eating can have on those who suffer from it.