Psychology: Eating Disorders

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Psychological Disorders: Eating Disorders

Eating disorders have drastically been on the climb in the recent years. It has become increasing popular to be extremely thin and focus on the superficial aspects of the body. Currently 8 million people are living with some kind of eating disorder. There are three different types of eating disorders that include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. These are all psychological disorders that can be very detrimental if not treated and improved upon. While all three of these disorders have extreme risk and consequences the most well know are anorexia nervousa and bulimia nervousa. Although these psychological disorders are greatly related with the desire to be thin there is a much deeper backgrounds to be explored. A Psychological disorder which also known as a mental disorder, is a pattern of behavioral or psychological symptoms that impact multiple life areas and create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. Psychological disorders come in many different variations and cannot be grouped in to one explanation, theory or adaptation. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) gives a full explanation of the 5 groups of psychological disorders which are Axis I: Clinical Syndromes, Axis II: Personality and Mental Retardation, Axis III: Medical Conditions, Axis IV: Psychosocial and Environmental Problems, and Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning. Eating disorders Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa are a part of Axis I: Clinical Symptoms because this group is described as clinical symptoms that cause significant impairment. They are seen as a disorder that you are not born with but establish with life experiences and mental health underdevelopment. The DSM-IV explains four criteria for anorexia nervosa (APA, 1994).  One is a refusal to maintain body weight over a minimal normal weight for age and height.   The second is a strong fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though they may be underweight.  Third is a disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight, size, or shape is experience. They are in denial of the seriousness of current low body weight.  Fourth is the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycle.  Two types of anorexia nervosa are defined.  The binge eating and then purging type means that the individual engages in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging during the episodes of anorexia nervosa.  The other type is when that the person does not binge eating or purging during the episodes of anorexia nervosa, they just starve themselves and work put vigorously. The DSM-IV explains five criteria for bulimia nervosa One, there are recurrent episodes of binge eating.  Binge eating is defined as eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is definitely larger that most people would consume in a similar period of time.  The binge eating must also be characterized by a sense of lack of control over eating.  Two, there are recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain such as self-induced vomiting, the misuse of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or excessive exercise.  Three, the binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behavior both occur, on average, at least twice a week for three months. Four, self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.  Five, the disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of anorexia nervosa.  There are two types of bulimia nervosa:  the purging type the person who regularly engages in self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives or diuretics and the nonpurging. As there are different types of eating disorders, their symptoms are also different but relate in sense that some symptoms are common in all disorders. Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder or a psychological disorder with three key features-A refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, a distorted body image and an irrational fear of gaining weight....
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