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How are Anorexia and Bulimia a result of social and emotional causes? What are the symptoms and what is the treatment? By
Tamara Polovina

March 24, 2011
Instructor: Georgia Nenopoulou
English 102

Outline:
Thesis: Anorexia and Bulimia are diseases of the modern society, although their traces exist back in the late 19th century. These phenomena are vivid in the current world and are increasing due to various reasons, both physical and psychological. However, the symptoms can be recognized and should be treated in order to prevent patient’s tragic death.

I. Introduction
II. Anorexia and Bulimia
A. Definitions
B. Differences
III. Causes of the diseases
A. Social Causes
B. Family Causes
C. Biological Causes
D. Professional Causes
IV. Symptoms
A. Physical
B. Psychological
V. Treatments
A. Antidepressants
B. Cognitive – behavioral therapy
C. Family psychotherapies
VI. Conclusion
People living in the modern 21st century society face many difficulties in terms of dealing with high social expectations, especially women. Because of the constant pressure, which comes from a substantial number of sources, population seems to be living as it is observed under a magnifying glass. Anorexia and Bulimia are just some of the diseases which exist for this reason. Although considered as diseases of the modern society, they trace back to the late 19th century. These phenomena are vivid in the current world and are increasing due to various reasons, both physical and psychological. However, the symptoms can be recognized and should be treated in order to prevent patient’s tragic death.

Anorexia and bulimia are terms which are by and large mentioned together in the same context. However, there are a few differences between these two diseases. Anorexia is a complex and emotional eating disorder which is most likely to occur among people who fear gaining body weight and who have a distorted body image (Help Guide). Anorectics have strict diets and often end up eating nothing in order to reach a perfect body image and they try to control things by controlling their body weight in order to obtain the “thin” image. Bulimia is also an emotional eating disorder however, unlike anorexia, it includes binge eating and vomiting – it is an ongoing battle between the desire for a perfect body and the desire for compulsive eating. Binge eating involves eating a large amount of food uncontrollably, which is in the end being vomited by a bulimic. In order to vomit, bulimics often don’t resist from the laxative intake. Orbanic brought to light that bulimia “is not something one has; it becomes who one is, shaping perception of self, others and the world at large” (36). Therefore, the difference between the diseases is the incapability of the bulimics to keep up with the food restriction, which consequently leads them to binge eating and vomiting. For this reason, bulimics are not necessarily underweight.

On the other hand, scientists have no reason to believe that bulimia and anorexia have different causes. Fairburn stated that both of the diseases have a number of common clinical features due to the fact that “between a third and a half of patients with bulimia nervosa have met strict diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa in the past” (485). In addition to this, Bergh, Brodin, Lindberg and Sodersten pointed out that anorexics often develop bulimia by repeating the behavior of binge eating and vomiting (986). Both anorexia and bulimia are complex psychological disorders, whose consequences appear due to deep and strong emotional reasons, for example depression and pressure for perfection.

Anorexia and bulimia are complex diseases as they are strongly related to the person’s mental issues. As it is well known, human mental structure has never been clear even to the scientists due to the...
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