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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Bulimia Nervosa - 1864 words
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Bulimia NervosaI sat there staring in the mirror filled with disgust at the figure on the other end. I thought " another day, another day living and thinking of nothing else but the way that I look naked, the way I look with clothes on, and the way other people look at me." I was 17 years old when I began to have the premature symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa. I was a cheerleader for a national competition squad, and was worried about being able to tumble to my full potential because of the extra weight that I was carrying. But more importantly I was uncomfortable with the way I felt with myself. I had a low self-esteem and was constantly worried about what others thought of me.
I tried many different strategies to lose weight. From starving myself to exercising constantly, nothing was working. I was desperate and wanted nothing else but to lose weight. As I became more and more worried about my weight the more depressed I became. With the onset of depression I started to eat even more
I ate, one day, to the point that I was sick, and felt miserable about myself, so I threw up. Afterward I felt great about myself. I had found some way hat I could control my weight, which in hand was my life. It became a lifeline for me; I was addicted to the feeling of throwing up once a day. The feeling of being hungry was for me happiness; I was disgusted and felt huge physically when I wasn't hungry.
I went from a solid size 12 to a solid size 6 in less than two months. I lost 20 pounds, and still was not happy with myself. I was suprised that no one questioned me or asked how I did it. All I heard was how great I looked. "1%-3% of adolescent and young adult females develop bulimia," (Hales, p.250).
And the statistics seem to be rising. One theory of why this is happening is that bulimia is influenced by fashion pressures to be thin and the social fixation on the idea of thinness is beauty. This fixation is the same, says John Matthews the author of Eating Disorders, as those suffering from anerexia. There is also an increase in numbers of bulimics due to the social expectance of the disease and the urgency of the disease to be treated. The awarness of what Bulimia Nervosa is and the symptoms of the disease are becoming more common place in our society.
We understand that the essential features of Bulimia Nervosa include binge eating and inappropriate compensatory methods to prevent weight grain, suggests the American Psychiatric Association. An episode usually begins with a binge, A binge is defined as eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is definitely larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances, (American Psychiatric Association, p.545). This would not include eating small amounts of food all day. The binge is typically triggered by dysphoric mood states, interpersonal stressors, intense hunger following dietary restraint, or feelings related to body weight, body shape, and food, (American Psychiatric Association, p.546). Some say that binge eating is accompanied by a sense of lack of control you have in your life, and in my case this was exactly right.
There is a sense that you have no control over your life and everything involved in it, so to compensate for the lack of control you have. You try to control your weight and you're eating habits. Some individuals with Bulimia Nervosa have described a binge as a feeling of dissociation, from their lives and everything around them. They have set their life at that time around their episode and think of nothing else. The binge it self will often last until the Individual is either uncomfortable or even to the point that they are painfully full. The American Psychiatric Association notes that during a binge the foods that are consumed varies; however, it typically includes sweets, and or high calorie foods such as ice cream or cake.
After the individual is full and in pain the question of what to do now comes to hand. The most common compensatory technique is the induction of vomiting, the American Psychiatric Association added that this technique is used by 80%-90% of the individual with Bulimia Nervosa. To vomit the individual will either use their fingers or other objects to induce the gag effect. The individual becomes addicted to the relief that vomiting gives and soon vomiting becomes a goal in itself, the individual will either binge in order to vomit or will vomit after eating small amounts of food. There are other purging behaviors that are not so common in our society, for instance the misuse of laxatives and diuretics. More uncommonly is the use of fasting and excessive exercise in an attempt to compensate for a binge.
We as a society are not aware that these are also used methods by individuals with Bulimia Nervosa, and we are not as equipped to uncover these symptoms in an individual with Bulimia Nervosa. A better understanding of the life style an individual with Bulimia Nervosa lives could be understood by a living example of one typical day. I wake up in the morning and the first thing that I do is look into the mirror to see if I had gained any weight over the night. I wake up feeling depressed that I have to live one more day in this body. As I make my way to the shower I avoid all mirrors, and as I undress to step into the shower I close my eyes just incase I catch a glimpse of my self, I stay that way throughout the entire shower not wanting my reality to become apparent.
I dress in disgust. As I make my way out to the kitchen I avoid my mom, and reach for my water bottle, that will be my breakfast. As I reach school I feel better about my self because I had skipped breakfast successfully, and I am beginning to feel better about my self. But the hallways inside are filled with people that judge, they judge you on what you are wearing that day, how good it looks on you, and most importantly how skinny or fat you are. So I duck trying to just blind in with the crowd so maybe no one will notice my size. I think of all the girls I see in those halls and how absolutely perfect they are, and I dream of my self-looking like that.
It's lunchtime and I am so hungry. So I eat, a bagel with cream cheese, some curly fries and a regular coke, I feel that I am okay everyone sees me eat so no one will suspect a thing. But I feel gross; food feels like a foreign object in my stomach. I feel like everything I just ate is going straight to my legs I can feel my self getting fatter by the second. The bell rings and lunch is over so I head straight to the bathroom, I check my watch to see how much time has passed from when I had eaten.
It's been 15 minutes, perfect, I make sure that no one is in the bathroom then I step into the stale, the same every day, I don't know why probable because I feel comfortable in there. I am looking at the toilet staring and thinking of how much better I will feel afterward, then I lean over not even needing to gag myself, it's like my body knows that it's time, time to get rid of the fat and the calories. When I am done I always smile like I had just accomplished another day. I look in the mirror and lift up my shirt hoping to see a flat little stomach, but seeing nothing but fat. It's funny because I don't see skin I look through that and see the lard accumulated on my body, I guess that's where I get my motivation from to continue in this way, and I figure that I will quite when I can see no lard.
After becoming aware that I had an eating disorder, I began to understand how serious the disease was. Just the biological effects of Bulimia were amazing to me. And then reality hit, I was at the dentist for a regular check up. I was having an exam and the dentist noticed that I had eight dental cavities, which happens to be one of the first signs of Bulimia. On top of that he had said that I had lost a sufficient amount of the enamel on the bottom teeth. This was the beginning of my problems; the dentist had contacted my mom and had told her what he had thought was going on and what the first step in getting treatment was.
I was taken to the doctor a week later, for what my mom said was a regular check up as well, and all that I needed done was some blood work. The blood was drawn and to find out I was deficient in almost all of the vitamins need to perform a daily regular lifestyle. I was also starting to loss some of my hair because I was so deficient in my vitamins. I was learning more about the serious effect of the disease and I was scared to learn that I was close to being admitted into an eating disorder clinic. I learned further into treatment that bulimia can cause liver failure, kidney failure and heart disease. Research on the disease has also revealed that about 40% of women with Bulimia Nervosa develop irregular menstruation, and about 20% cease menstruating altogether, (Matthews, Eating Disorders, p.45).
The American Psychiatric Association have been conducting studies in which suggests that Bulimia Nervosa is more common among certain genders, age groups, and even certain cultures. The prototypical individual with Bulimia Nervosa, says The American Psychiatric Association, is 90% female, more likely white in race, and is from a more industrialized country, for example the United States, Canada, Europe, or Australia. Individuals with Bulimia Nervosa have been compared to those who suffer from alcoholism. We both encounter the day to day battles to stay healthy and not relapse. We both learn to talk about our problem to others whether it is a group such as AA, or in my case with my family. An individual with Bulimia Nervosa needs support just as an individual with alcoholism.
The help that is out there is enormous for any individual suffering with the battle of an eating disorder. The problem is not the availability of help; it is we as a society. We need to become more comfortable talking about the symptoms of the individual with the eating disorder, and the different ways to over come the disorder. One solution that helped my treatment was the understanding of exercise, and a healthy diet. Sometimes in our busy life's we forget to teach our children about healthy living, however we have the expectation that they will be perfect on the inside and the outside.
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