Comparing the Similarities and Differences Between Anorexia and Bulimia

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Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa are described as psychological eating disorders (Keel and Levitt, 1). They are both characterized by an over evaluation of weight. Despite being primarily eating disorders, the manifestations of bulimia and anorexia are different. They both present a very conspicuous example of dangerous psychological disorders, as according to the South Carolina Department of Health, “Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness” (Eating Order Statistics, 1). While Bulimia and anorexia both psychological disorders primarily prevalent in women, anorexia tend to have different diagnostic complexities, symptoms and physiological effects as compared to bulimia.
Both bulimics and anorexics are
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There seems to be no single reason for the development of either bulimia or anorexia nervosa. Morris and Twaddle argue that anorexia seems to have no specific cause, that genetic disposition, cultural, transitional and environmental factors all play a role in causing the disorder (894-898) Similar is the case of bulimia as mentioned in by Hay and Bacaltchuk (33). From this, we can deduce that these eating disorders are dangerous because they can arise due to a number of independent reasons.
One of the major differences between anorexia and bulimia is that the latter is harder to diagnose. Bulimic patients tend to be secretive and though their weight may be below normal, it is not necessary that they be anorexic. However, anorexic patients tend to be underweight, along with reluctance to eat even small amounts of food, and involving in physical weight-loss exercises obsessively. (Simon, 1) Therefore, it is apparent that incidences of bulimia often remain unnoticed whereas anorexics are more successfully diagnosed.
Both anorexia and bulimia are more common to women. In clinical review, Sara and twaddle write: “It [anorexia] has a prevalence of 0.3% in young women…. 80-90% of patients are female”. While 90% of eating disorder patients treated are women (Hay and Bascaltchuk, 33). Therefore, it may be inferred that certain reasons (as discussed above) act as stimuli in women