PICA: Lifespan Psych

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Life Span Psych

Sitting at the park on a marvelous day watching the kids play in the park, then it happens one kid starts eating dirt. Wondering why he’s doing it, and what’s his motive? Intrigued, I go home and research the symptoms and I come up with one word: Pica. But what exactly is Pica? Pica is a very rare disorders with an interesting history, where signs and symptoms help diagnosis the treatments for it.

Pica is a disorder in which you have an appetite or weird craving for things that have no nutritional value. There is no age limit for the disease; anyone can have Pica at any point in time. Pica can be associated with mental and stress related disorders. Stress factors such as family issues, pregnancy, poverty, parental neglect, and a disorganized family, are strongly linked to Pica. There are different variations of Pica; it can be genetic, could be desire for the taste, tried once and enjoyed it, or an iron deficiency. It can lead to a “drunken state” in children, which can result in negative physical and mental development. Pica can lead to nutrition deficiencies and can cause surgical emergencies. Furthermore, these will lead you into the history pica and what it’s all about.

The history of Pica is very intriguing and very informative. Pica comes from the Latin word-meaning magpie. A magpie is a bird in the crow family that inhabits the western half of North America. The magpie is a resourceful omnivore, eating many types of insects, seeds, rodents, berries, nuts, eggs, and also garbage and food from pets that are fed outside. Magpies show an uncritical preference for foods and nonfoods. Pica has been practiced as part of religious ceremonies, magical beliefs, and attempts at healing. Pica of dirt and clay was popular amongst the Greeks and the Romans and was recorded in a 13th century Latin work. Pica was first written in a medical book in 1563. Clay intake has been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures,...
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