Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa

2103 Words9 Pages
Body dissatisfaction has become normative in today’s society, and we are seeing it emerge at younger and younger ages. Women and men alike surrounded by social influences that mandate thinness at every turn is becoming all too common. With distorted body perceptions being portrayed in such ways, it is no wonder that so many have fallen victim to the pressures of wanting to be thin. Portia de Rossi describes a moment in her book talking about the struggle she faced with her eating disorder. Even at a young age she knew there was some sort of internal draw for her need to keep pushing herself to lose weight. Whitboune & Halgin (2013) write: Since I was a twelve-year-old girl taking pictures in my front yard to submit to modeling…show more content…
Gender roles and culture can have lasting impacts on individuals with anorexia. As societal and cultural norms continue to focus on body image and a desire for thinness, the need for healthy, realistic ideals about beauty will become even more pressing. Anorexia usually begins in adolescence but can start anytime during pre-teen years or early into adulthood (Medline Plus, 2013). Some individuals have only a single episode while others suffer a long-term battle with the disorder. A recent study (Mehler, 2001) indicates that 16 percent of individuals diagnosed continued to show criteria of anorexia over a decade later after their initial diagnosis. Additionally, the longer duration of illness, the less favorable outcomes tend to be. Intervention early on in the illness has been associated with the best outcomes (Attia, & Walsh, 2007). With serious medical complications such as decreased thyroid function, irregular heart rhythm, low blood pressure, brittle bones, dehydration, and reduced muscle mass (Straub, 2007; Whitbourne, 2013; Attia, 2007), there is a large concern surrounding prognosis and outcomes in individuals that go undiagnosed. Research shows that early detection and treatment improve prognosis and outcome, but clinical diagnosis of anorexia can often times be obscured making it hard to give a proper diagnosis (Mehler, 2001). Diagnostic Criteria of
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