Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Bulimia, just how deadly is it? Has society gone too far to put a pretty face on every single magazine that a person looks at? What's the difference between looking pretty and looking like a corpse? Where can we draw the line? Today it seems as though the only thing that matters is having the perfect body image. Bulimia patients have many symptoms, mental and physical causes, and long term effects that are easy to identify.

"Eating disorders take over your life and change the person who you are and you will never be the same (changing bodies 25). Bulimia is known by continuous episodes of binge eating. Purging mostly takes the form of vomiting; the bulimic makes themselves throw up in an impulsive way to get rid of the food consumed during the binge. While some people stick their fingers down their throat which is a hopeless attempt to get rid of the food, others use dangerous drugs also help to get rid of the food and stimulate vomiting.

Dr. Aurelia states "The new concept of disorder eating behavior, with poor national habits on one end, and anorexia and bulimia on the other" (Understanding 9).In Em Farrell a physiologist of anorexia and bulimia states that "80 percent of people are believed to be affected by borderline disordered eating, known technically as sub clinical eating disorder. That means only 20 percent of all people have a healthy attitude toward food." (Understanding 9)People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight. Women with bulimia tend to be high achievers.

It is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from Bulimia. This occurs because binging and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from Bulimia often deny their condition.

Sufferers consume huge quantities of food. Sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time. The foods on which they binge tend to be foods labeled as "comfort foods" -- sweet foods, high in calories, or smooth, soft foods like ice cream, cake, and pastry. What physical defects can result from eating disorders, the dangers are numerous and they are in several categories.

First we start off with extreme weight loss, slow heart beat and weak reflexes, mild anemia and risks of getting an infection are much greater. Skin, hair and nails all become brittle. In Most girls, they quit menstruating, vomiting, laxatives and diuretics all disturb the balance of vitamin intake in the body. Also, bulimia nervosa has the following symptoms: makes excuses to go to the bathroom after meals, and eats large amounts of food on the spur of the moment (Bulimia Nervosa2) "Singer Karen Carpenter is thought to have died from heart failure from her long battle of eating disorders" (Eating 31). When the balance is disturbed, the person may be subjected to results ranging from heart problems, to kidney failure, dizziness, and depression. Some other problems that may occur are the stress of excessive eating and the stomach acids that accompany the vomit; the bulimic may develop a puffy mouth and jaw, a persistent sore throat, inflamed esophagus, dental problems, abdominal pain, and other problems with the body and mind. The worst and scariest effect of bulimia is death and the never ending purging cycle.

What emotional dangers result form eating disorders? An eating disorder causes loneliness and a confusing experience. It is triggered by emotional problems and return it causes new stresses and concerns. Bulimics face these new issues and conflicts everyday. "An eating disorder is a lonely and confusing experience. Anorexics and bulimics can feel isolated, rejected, and defeated."(Eating 31) Who exactly are eating disorders common in? You may not think so but boys also have disorders, but they are more ashamed to admit that they have one. The American Bulimia association reports that more than 5 million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Others say the number is close to eight million. Even if boys and men are only 10 percent of the people with eating disorders are still affected. The percentage of males might be understood better in statistics since boys don't go to anyone for help. Pressures to be thin today are consumed with slender images of the body. "It is common for boys to have bulimic but they are more likely to hide it"(Teen 50)Teenagers turn on the TV and read magazines they are constantly flipping to these people who are unrealistically thin. Both boys and girls feel the everyday pressure to be thin and perfect. The emphasis is more on the girl than the guy but we aren't saying that the boys got it easy. Men today are expected to be muscular and in shape like they g have never been before. Girls are asked to have a big chest and a slender body which is virtually impossible.

There are many examples of models and ballerinas that have to maintain a perfect image and feel that the only way to do so is an eating disorder. In Gelsey Kirkland report Dancing on my grave she reply's that " the head of her ballet troop once stopped class, thumped on the bones of Kirkland's chest and said must see the bones At this time she was weighing less than a hundred pounds". (Teen 34) Eating disorders don't always have to do with depression and what is going on in your life; it also has to do with striving for acceptance and high achievement in a certain activity.

"Bulimia affects about 10% young woman and 10% of individuals diagnosed with bulimia are men. 10% of individuals suffering will die from starvation, cardiac arrest and other medical complications." (NP) How do you recover and what exactly does it take? This is the main question that entered my mind when I was researching. Bulimia is a disease in which that is important to regulate diet and weight. When the person is stable physically, then they can begin to gain control over their body. In order for a good recovery, long time therapy is required along with good eating habits and monitoring their weight. To recover there are certain drugs and physiotherapy to help. One of the drugs that bulimia patients use to recover is Prozac; this drug alternates the body and mind. Bulimia patients must also use self-management to have a safe and lasting recovery.

Eating disorders affect not only you but the people who surround you, the effects are many and the dangers are deadly. Sure it doesn't seem so bad but in the end you are only hurting yourself.