Anorexia and Bulimia as a Types of Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders are severe conditions associated with constant eating habits that have a significant effect on your health. According to Rebecca, “eating disorders typically appear in teen years or young adulthood, eating disorders can develop in those younger or older than that” (Rebecca, “Types of Eating Disorders: Symptoms, Causes and Effects”). They may also influence many people like women, men, children, from all ages and various races. People who have eating disorders, anorexia, and bulimia feel pressured to look a certain way based on what they see as beautiful or as an “ideal body” rather than excepting what they already have.

This is typically associated with women or teenage girls mainly. Anorexia and bulimia are the two major eating disorders that affect young women due to biological, psychological, and societal causes, however; through therapy, treatment, and further education on the topic, it would start to help people regain their confidence and see that we all come in different shapes and sizes.

Anorexia and bulimia are both eating disorders that revolve around unhealthy eating habits and behaviors. However, these disorders differ in the people who are most affected by their motivations, symptoms, and the ramifications of their physical health circumstances. Caitlin states, “who have anorexia feel they should stop eating not only to be skinny…to ‘disappear’…Unlike anorexia, bulimia is compulsive binge eating followed by purging through self-induced vomiting or laxatives…Bulimics are driven to look right” (Caitlin, “Anorexia vs. Bulimia”).

One major difference between anorexia and bulimia is the fact that depending on a person’s motives or what they are “driven” by; specifically, one focuses on trying to lose as much weight as possible, while the other wants to look skinner. As a result, “physical effects of anorexia include permanent heart problems, kidney failure, fatigue, and in some cases death…effects of bulimia are deterioration of the esophagus, dental cavities, and vitamin deficiency” (Caitlin, “Anorexia vs. Bulimia”). The distinction between the two illnesses is the physical effects of the health conditions they get from how they behave in order to get skinnier. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are both self-destructive eating habits, yet they should be distinguished and treated in various manners.

When it comes to eating disorders, it is much more common in women and girls. It is also often diagnosed in young adults and teenagers. Studies show that, “90 percent are women between 12 and 25 years of age. Initially found mostly in upper-and middle-class affect both sexes and span all ages, seriocomic, ethic, and radical groups” (UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital, “Anorexia Nervosa”). In other words, almost all ethnic groups are being impacted by these disorders, even if it seems like it is more pertained to women than to anyone else. While some disorders can only be found in specific age groups, genders, races, etc., eating disorders can be found amongst all and it does not necessarily have to be pointed towards food.

Similarly, there are also particular traits of certain females who tend to fit the description of who typically ends up developing an eating disorder. For instance, “The typical profile… is an adolescent to young adult female who is perfectionistic, hardworking, introverted, resistant to change and highly self-critical” (UR Medicine Golisano Children’s Hospital, “Anorexia Nervosa”). Meaning when a certain person feels the need to control amounts of what they eat in order to be their ‘perfect’ weight, it could potentially lead to the development of an eating disorder.

To get into further details, “it has been estimated that between 0.3-1% of women suffer from anorexia nervosa and around 3% suffer from bulimia nervosa…has been shown that 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance” (UNC School of Medicine, “What are Eating Disorders?”). This proves that there are numbers that pertain a majority or estimate of how many women are affected from anorexia or bulimia based off of their appearances. All things considered women or girls in their teenage years and young adulthood are affected the most by the eating disorders anorexia.

There are three different common causes of anorexia and bulimia that affect young women: societal, psychological, and biological causes. A major cause of eating disorders includes the pressure to look a certain way in regard to societal circumstances.

This is demonstrated when it states ,“Being teased or bullied about weight is becoming a common reason for people to develop an eating disorder…trauma or abuse can lead to the feeling of being unworthy…they hope to be able to make friendships if they lose weight or are more attractive” (Rebecca, “Types of Eating Disorders: Symptoms, Causes and Effects”). Particularly, through teasing or bullying, trauma or abuse, and the lack of social support (a.k.a friends) it could make someone feel the need to lose weight in order to feel better about themselves but are never really satisfied. Also, without friends or people to support you in your life a person could gain anxiety or even feel isolated to a point where they start to starve themselves.

For a person who may have some metal heath issues, obsessive tendencies towards food habits, having a poor body image, or even a perfectionism character trait; these are all psychological issues that cause or lead up to eating disorders. This is discussed when it says, “perfectionism can lead to the development of an eating disorders… a need to feel control can also lead to eating disorders…Body image…many people with eating disorders also have depression and/or anxiety” (Rebecca, “Types of Eating Disorders: Symptoms, Causes and Effects”).

This quote basically discusses how people’s mindsets could possibly start the buildup of an eating disorder. More education needs to be permitted in order for people to get informed in what to do when they feel they have to be perfect all the time or always focus on their body image. Given these points, to sum up societal and psychological causes are examples of reasons or explanations of how people may have gotten an eating disorder; whether it was anorexia or bulimia.

Although the exact causes of eating disorders are unknown there seems to be a biological basis to the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. The word ‘Biological’ is used to explain relations that are usually genetic. The important thing to notice about this is that, “certain people may have genes that increases their risk of developing eating disorders…changes in brain chemicals, may play a role in eating disorders” (Mayo Clinic Staff, “Eating Disorders”).

Furthermore, genetics, type 1 diabetes, and history of dieting are all related to the biological basis of causing an eating disorder, since it states “eating disorders do tend to run families…Currently, it is estimated that 50-80% of the risk for anorexia or bulimia is genetic” (Rebecca, “Types of Eating Disorders: Symptoms, Causes and Effects”). For the most part, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia do have a biological basis.

Eating disorder treatments are different when it comes to the forms of treatment required; whether you have anorexia or bulimia. As a matter of fact, “Eating disorders treatment depends on your particular disorder…includes a combination of psychological therapy (psychotherapy) nutrition education….” (Mayo Clinic Staff, “Eating Disorders”).

For example, some psychological therapy may include cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based therapy, or even group cognitive behavioral therapy. For group cognitive behavioral therapy there are different parts that associate with it, including various medications for eating disorders, hospitalization or hospital day treatment programs, residential treatment, and ongoing treatment for health problems. In Addition, “treatment also involves addressing other health problems caused by an eating disorder” (Mayo Clinic Staff, “Eating Disorders”). Health issues like anxiety or depression that are caused by eating disorders are also healed through treatments similar to these ones.

On the other hand, the specific forms of treatment and methods for anorexia contrast with what is required for bulimia. For instance, “Patients with anorexia nervosa require multidisciplinary treatment, involving nutritional support, psychological counselling, and behavioral modification” (Harvard Health Publishing Staff, “Treating anorexia nervosa”). Implying that, all of these treatments required are specific to anorexia nervosa. Depending on age ranged groups “For children and adolescents who suffered from anorexia nervosa… three-phrase treatment emphasize family involvement” (Harvard Health Publishing Staff, “Treating anorexia nervosa”). Therefore, when it comes to certain age groups the types of treatments are different and usually involve family therapy if they are an adolescent.

Cite this paper

Anorexia and Bulimia as a Types of Eating Disorders. (2020, Sep 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/anorexia-and-bulimia-as-a-types-of-eating-disorders/



Are anorexia and bulimia the same disorder?
No, anorexia and bulimia are not the same disorder. Anorexia involves severe restriction of food intake, while bulimia involves binge eating followed by purging behaviors.
What do anorexia and bulimia have in common?
Anorexia and bulimia are both eating disorders that can result in serious health problems.
What is anorexia nervosa and its types?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and distorted perception of body weight. There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa: the restricting type and the binge-eating/purging type.
What is the major difference between anorexia nervosa and bulimia?
The main difference between diagnoses is that anorexia nervosa is a syndrome of self-starvation involving significant weight loss of 15 percent or more of ideal body weight, whereas patients with bulimia nervosa are, by definition, at normal weight or above.
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