English 134- Profile Essay
January 24, 2013
Thoughts That Can Kill
He was nineteen when it started. The joy in everything seemed to fade away, they had gone from color to black and white. No drive to do anymore then necessary to stay alive. The love for his girlfriend was slowly moving away like the clouds in the sky. His world was truly spinning out of control. Dieting was the only way he could grasp on to his life, which eventually turned into anorexia nervosa.
My cousin was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa when he was nineteen years old. He had just dropped out of college, moved back with his parents, no job, and did not know what to do. Before this he was a free spirit, more of the hippie type. Loved to play guitar for his band and always had a smile on his face. There are many questions to be answered as to how he changed from always being full of joy to being close to death. Some people may think that eating disorders are only for women and are easily fixable. As we look deeper into the story of how my cousin came to have anorexia, was diagnosed, and then the road to recovery, we will be able to grasp the severity of this of this disease in men, which many people don't fully understand.
Anorexia Nervosa is defined as a type of eating disorder in which people can literally starve themselves to death. People with anorexia nervosa eat very little even though they are already thin. In men it is difficult diagnosing a eating disorder. One main reason is because most men think that eating disorders are only for women and that it is a sign of weakness if they admit they have a disorder like that. However the truth is according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders that, “ an estimated 10-15% of people with Anorexia are male.” Then again the National Association states that, “only one in ten men and women with eating eating disorders actually receive treatment.” One main reason why many people don't receive treatment for an eating disorder is because they could be diagnosed with other diseases that are stemming from the eating disorder. The National Association says that half of the people with eating disorders meet the criteria of depression, but the depression is stemming from the eating disorder.
Even though we may not think that eating disorders are serious, it effects many more people then we may think. “About 15% of all Americans suffer from a serious eating disorder,” National Association. That number is in between forty and fifty million people. According to Mirasol, a Anorexia Nervosa recovery center, “Anorexia has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness including major depression.” Also that five to ten percent of anorexics die within ten years after contracting the disease and eighteen to twenty of anorexics will be dead after twenty years. This disorder is a very serious epidemic in our country and world wide. People, mostly men, need to realize that it is not uncommon for them to have an anorexia or any eating disorder, and that it is better to receive treatment then try to beat the disease themselves because most of the time they wont be able to. My cousin is lucky to be alive.
When my cousin was in high school he started to get caught up into what he called them as, “many types of psychedelic drugs.” As this continued into college he started to feel disconnected from this world. His emotions changed and many of the hobbies that brought light into his life couldn't push the darkness away any longer. Once he dropped out of college and moved back home his world was flipped upside down and he couldn't control it. The only thing he could control was his eating habits. He would eat less and less until he finally got to the point where he in his words, “ I ate enough to stay alive.” This continued for a few months and then once summer hit my dad, my great uncle, my cousin and I went on a backpacking trip together. Its always a...