Essay by maximusdCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2003

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Anorexia Nervosa/Bulimia

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder that is best explained as self-starvation. It occurs most commonly among adolescent females but is also observed in older women and in men. The disorder may appear when a young woman leaves home, or it may develop in connection with mental depression, peer pressure to lose weight, sexual temptation, the use of psychedelic drugs, or the discontinuance of oral contraceptives. Any of these situations may affect a person at any time and at any age.

The causes of this horrific disease may make the person not want to eat and she may stop menstruating. The loss of menstruation could lead to a damaged uterus making it hard for the woman to get pregnant. She may lose weight to the point of life-threatening exhaustion, which often requires hospitalization. The person remains physically active and believes she is much fatter than she actually is.

Different things that could make this happen could be when a friend or family member makes a comment about the person's weight.

It becomes a constant reminder when she eats that people are judging her for her outer appearance. Anorexia nervosa may sometimes be connected to a disorder of the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates menstruation, eating, body temperature, and sleep. About half of all the patients permanently recover. About ten percent die of self-starvation, and the rest have repeated relapses throughout the rest of their lives.

In an associated condition called bulimia, the patient repeatedly gorges herself but expels the food through self-induced vomiting.

Bulimia is an eating disorder marked by a consumption of large quantities of food at one sitting. Because the person is starving himself or herself before they start eating, she becomes so hungry that her brain tells her to make up for the...