Essay on Eating Disorders

1909 Words 8 Pages
Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a way of using food to work out emotional problems. These illnesses develop because of emotional and/or psychological problems. Eating disorders are the way some people deal with stress. In today’s society, teenagers are pressured into thinking that bring thin is the same thing as being happy. Chemical balances in the brain that may also result in depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, and bi-polar disorders may also cause some eating disorders. Other causes may be emotional events, illnesses, marital or family problems, manic depression, or ending a relationship. Over eight million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Over 80% of girls under age thirteen admit to dieting, one of the main
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Victorian women kept with the ideals of the time by refusing food and restricting any intake. A hearty appetite was said to represent sexuality and a lack of self-control, which was strictly prohibited for women. The era was emphasized by spirituality, which also had an impact on the restriction of meat. Ironically, most of the women were large, as common meals were high in starches. Medical evidence of the existence of anorexia has been documented as far back as 1873. It was decided that this refusal of food was to attract attention. An American neurologist, Silas Weir Mitchell saw anorexia as a form of neurasthenia, a nervous disorder characterized by nervous exhaustion and lack of motivation. Mitchell thought the disease was caused by any stressful life situation in combination with social pressure. Treatment was a so-called “parentectomy,” which was removal from the home, and force-feeding, if necessary. Mitchell preferred the pampering method, consisting of a diet low in fats, total seclusion, bed-rest, and massage therapy. Sigmund Freud, a psychiatrist from Vienna, believed that anorexia was a physical manifestation of an emotional conflict. He believed that anorexia might be linked to the subconscious desire to prevent normal sexual development. In the 1930s, doctors theorized that the only way to permanently recover from anorexia was to
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explore the cause of the disease in the individual, in addition…

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