At least 2 million female Americans have a clinically relevant eating disorder. Diagnosable eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are not uncommon, occurring in approximately three percent of the United States female population. Many people with eating disorders do not recognize that they have a problem and never seek help (Seg all, 22). In this paper I am going to evaluate the issue from different perspectives and determine how eating disorders influence the development of an individual. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight, profound fear of weight gain, body image disturbance, and amenorrhea. Bulimia nervosa involves recurrent episodes of binge eating accompanied by compensatory mechanisms and self-esteem significantly influenced by one's weight and shape.
Compensatory mechanisms include self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, excessive exercise, and fasting. These disorders usually begin during adolescence with the majority of the cases developing before the age of twenty-five. For an anorexic dieting has become an obsession and the obsession has become a disease. Anorexia Nervosa is a puzzling and cruel disease affecting thousands and thousands of young and healthy women and adolescents (Bruch 3). Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the pursuit of thinness (Garner & Garfinkel 339). Anorexics willingly undergo the ordeal of starvation even to the point of death (Bruch 4).
Anorexics are people who are obsessed with food and who constantly fight the urge to eat (Marx 22). Anorexia Nervosa strikes mostly adolescent girls. Most estimates place the disease incidence at 1 out of every 250 adolescent girls (Leven kron 1-2). It is important to get the anorexic help immediately. If they do not get help, they can die. There are different ways to help an anorexic.
There is therapy for example, family therapy, individual therapy, psychotherapy therapy and what seems to be the most effective; group therapy. If the anorexic is in serious need and therapy is not working, they will be hospitalized. Medicines are often at help to an anorexic. Therapy alone can cure an anorexic patient. Anorexics feel that therapy in general can intervene or cause a deadly threat against robbing them of their specialness (Marx 51). There are three main stages of therapy.
The first stage is the main issue of the anorexic reluctance to be a patient. The illness is addressed during initial consolation. The therapist attempts to establish a verbal contract with patient and to help the patient with problems. The middle stage is where revenant issues are brought up and worked on. The anorexic is engaged in a struggle to gain some self-respect and self-esteem.
Their inner world is chaotic and full of anxiety and horror. Negative therapeutic reaction occurs which is impasse or regression that occurs when least expected. They fall apart psychologically. The final stage the patient begins to experience being valued. The anorexic begins to feel accepted and can be responsive to themselves and others without guilt (Whitaker 67). The first type of therapy is individual therapy.
It is a one-on-one relationship between the patient and the therapist. Individual therapy takes a deeper look at the causes of the behavior. The therapist explores the patients thoughts, feelings, and looking how they express thoughts and feelings in their actions or relationships (Marx 159-160). The second type of therapy is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is to help the patient in her search for autonomy and self-directed identity by evoking an awareness of impulses, feelings and needs (Bruch 143). The first stage of psychotherapy is establishing an initial way of being together and the therapist is creating an atmosphere that will allow for disclosure without the risk of rejection.
The first stage lasts from 1 to 6 months. The middle stage, treatment alliances has been achieved and the patient is able to both regress and take new stances toward oneself. The middle stage lasts 2 to 4 years. The final stage lasts approximately 6 months to a year (Whitaker 92).