Research Paper: Eating Disorders Understanding the Reason

Pages: 5 (2249 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Some of those being a step parent joining the family, or the addition of a new member such as a sibling into the family (LeGrange, Lock, and Loeb, 2009).

Retrospective

In this retrospective example one group of women a year prior to episodes of bulimia were reviewed by gaining insight of the types of comments often made to them during this time. The comments were primarily about weight, criticism of the body shape and the parents having higher expectations for the patient. With the onset of bulimia, these criticisms intensified magnifying the case. These studies were compared to a normal control group who was not criticized about their weight, body shape, given little affection, parenting that includes separation or micromanaging behaviors. The result being that bulimia patients usually are made to feel inadequate and incapable, unattractive and overweight by friends, family or peers which then leads to the illness (LeGrange, Lock, and Loeb, 2009).

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is another eating disorder where the person is in danger of starving themselves into a very unhealthy even life threatening state. Anorexia sufferers refuse to eat meals due to a fear of gaining weight. They appear very malnourished to others however see themselves as overweight. They will constantly diet or use diuretics and laxatives to lower water weight. The fear of weight gain is so intense as to appear neurotic. The person constantly refers to themselves as overweight or dieting. They have the behavioral characteristics of a perfectionists and have a need to please others. Though attempting to project a confident demeanor they have a low sense of worth.

The number of anorexia sufferers among adolescents is 1% (Palazzoli, 1988). The age range where anorexia most likely begins is 14 through 18 years of age (Palazzoli, 1988). Of women as a whole nearly 4% will experience some form of anorexic behavior.

The main symptoms as mentioned is avoidance of eating or eating very little. The appearance of malnourishment. Anorexia nervosa is identified, in part, by refusal to eat, an intense desire to be thin, repeated dieting attempts, and excessive weight loss.

To maintain an abnormally low weight, people with anorexia nervosa may diet, fast, or over-exercise. They often engage in behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. People with anorexia nervosa believe that they are overweight even when they are extremely thin. However if someone can reach out to them with love and support and refrain from judgment, the victim can achieve success in overcoming this condition.

Case Study

A case study from the "Works of Mara Palazzoli" involving an eight-year-old named Lisa explains the observation of a therapist and how she diagnosed the cause of the anorexic behavior afterwards prescribing corrective action that was successful. Lisa has an older sister who was very bright and successful in school. Her sister was outgoing, extroverted, and able to excel in school. Lisa appeared to be the opposite. A natural introvert, she was shy and withdrawn. The parents sent the older daughter to public school and Lisa to a private school where her teacher attempted to blame Lisa's poor grades on her inability to grasp the material (Palazzoli, 1988). The parents accepted the teacher's explanations and thereby took the teacher's side. Feeling isolated and alone, Lisa stopped eating. After losing a great deal of weight, the parents called in the therapist for treatment. The evaluation involved interviewing the parents and the teacher. What was discovered was that the young girl gained weight and was happier during summer vacation (Palazzoli, 1988). However, begin to lose weight and fall behind when returning to school in the fall. Therefore it was discovered that the problem was most likely at the school and not the home. The therapist recommended that Lisa be transferred into public school. Parents agreed and after a few weeks Lisa regained a normal weight and begin to excel in her classes (Palazzoli, 1988).

Works Cited

Marsh R, Steinglass JE, Gerber AJ, Graziano O'Leary K, Wang Z, Murphy D, Walsh BT, Peterson BS. Deficient activity in the neural systems that mediate self-regulatory control in bulimia nervosa. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2009; 66(1):51 -- 63.

Le Grange D, Crosby RD, Rathouz PJ, Leventhal BL. A randomized controlled comparison of family-based treatment and supportive psychotherapy for adolescent bulimia nervosa. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2007; 64(9):1049 -- 1056.

LeGrange, D., Lock, J., and Loeb,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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