Anorexia Nervosa (Nutrition and Psychology Related)

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Alan Varatta HED: Nutrition Anorexia nervosa is a life threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain fifteen percent of a normal body weight through self-starvation (Arnold, page26). Ninety-five percent of anorexics are women between the ages of twelve and eighteen, however, "…in the past twenty years, this disorder has become a growing threat to high school and college students (Arnold, page 39)". Anorexia produces a multitude of symptoms, and if not treated, anorexia can lead to permanent physical damage or death. Anorexic behavior is complex because it is all about the need for control. Someone suffering from anorexia has a distorted body image of himself or herself. He/she believes to be overweight, even though…show more content…
Guilt from consuming any food is a result of a loss of control to the anorexic. The anorexic loses hope from his/her sense of failure to control his/her eating. Obsessive thoughts and preoccupation with the anorexic's unhealthy physical state and obsessive rituals of the eating pattern occurs because he/she is in a vicious cycle of lack of control in his/her life. This lack of control in the anorexic exacerbates the alienation and loneliness already present (Arnold, page 91). Motivated by the belief that the anorexic is not worthy of friendships with certain peers, the anorexic is consumed by food. The fear of discovering that he/she is anorexic is terrifying. This terror of discovery produces social anxiety and sometimes nervous breakdowns. The depression resulting from the anorexic's psychological symptoms can lead to suicide. In cases of depressed anorexics the lack of control to overcome the state of control of self-starvation produces the feelings of failure and desperation and often leads to suicide. Treatment for the anorexic is a long-term process that includes psychotherapy. Treatment must begin with an evaluation of the anorexic patient. Here the evaluator must learn as much information about the anorexic patient by exploring the family history, health status, and how the anorexic perceives himself/herself and the anorexic patient's lifestyle. Establishing a treatment plan designed for the
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