?Anorexia is a condition that affects every part of you, your body, and your mind. In theworld that we live in, where on every magazine cover, every tv show, and even in your homeroom, you see beautiful, skinny girls that seem to have everything they want. They seem to bepopular, always happy, and have the perfect body.
Many girls that are just beginning to gothrough adolescence feel that to be these perfect girls, they have to be skinny. They turn toAnorexia is a serious eating disorder, in which girls have an intense fear of becomingfat. The diagnostic criteria, although not all patients with anorexia experience thesesymptoms, are characteristics of anorexics. Anorexics have a refusal to maintain body weightat or above a minimally normal weight for age and height. Their weight loss leading tomaintenance of body weight is below 20% of the expected body weight of healthy individualsat the same age and height. Some anorexics have a distorted body image of themselves,leading them to believe they are fat, even if they are seriously underweight.
The physical signs that can be seen or felt are dramatic weight loss in a relatively shortperiod of time, skeletal look, sunken eyes, dry, yellow, or grey skin, thinning hair, hair growthon arms, legs and other body parts in effort to keep heat in, loss of body muscle and fat,dizziness and headaches, complaints of often feeling cold, fainting spells, inability to sleep,exhaustion, and their period stopping or never startingThe psychological characteristics of anorexics may include an obsession with weightand complaining of weight problems, obsession with continuous exercise, visible foodrestriction and self-starvation, isolation and fear of eating around and with others, self-defeating statements after food consumption, low self-esteem, needing acceptance fromothers, perfectionistic personality, mood swings, and depression. Unseen dangers of an anorexic are a shrunken heart with an irregular beat, low bodytemperature, brittle bones, low blood pressure, slower pulse, and stunted growth. Self-starvation, if not treated, eventually leads to heart and kidney disorders, organ failure, andThere are many reasons why a young girl becomes anorexic, but in many cases, thegirls are high achievers, and try to please those around them. They may be the girls you knowthat are straight-A students and have busy schedules. This perfectionistic personality leadsthem to believe that to make their family, friends, teachers, and coaches happy, they need tobe perfect, and thin.
Although they seem as though they have everything going for them, theyhave low self-esteem and may not want to grow up. Many cases develop at the ages 11 or 18,the beginning and ending of adolescence, when girls at both stages are entering a new phasein life. In past cases, the typical anorexic was a white teenage girl from a middle-class goodhome. Now, anyone can suffer from anorexia, including teenage boys.
Anything can trigger the girl into thinking she must be thin. Sometimes constantteasing from classmates and peers can make a girl believe that if she were thin, nobody wouldbe making fun of her. A sexually, physically, or mentally abusive parent may trigger a girl intoThe girl starts off on a diet, usually not very serious. She will start restricting whatfoods she eats and how much.
Instead of a normal 2200 calories a day diet, she may drop to1200, or 800 calories a day. When someone comments on how good she looks, or that shehas lost a few pounds, she thinks, If they think I look good now, wait until they see me 5pounds lighter, then 5 pounds lighter than that. Eventually the girl is starving herself, eatingonly very low calorie, low fat foods, such as a handful or grapes, two spoonfuls of yogurt, anda few sips of water as a meal. Soon, she gets used to being hungry, and she physicallyEating disorders are common in sports that emphasize being thin.
According to a1992 American College of Sports Medicine Study, eating disorders affect nearly 62% offemales in sports such as figure skating, ballet, and gymnastics. Many athletes develop eating disorders to please coaches or judges. One commentfrom a coach or judge to lose a few pounds to get extra lift on a flip can cause serious damageto the athlete. In the case of Christy Henrich, at a 1988 meet, an US judge told her she wastoo fat and needed to lose weight if she wanted to make the Olympic Team.
She battledanorexia and bulimia for six years. Her lowest weight was 47 pounds. On July 26, 1994, atthe age of 22, she died of multiple organ failure at a hospital. Those athletes that are especially at risk are ballet dancers. They have great pressureto have the ballet physique, the look of the genre of the veritably, the length of the spine, theopen stance and the lean look.
The young dancer feels if she never has these features, shewill never be a great dancer. All during class dancers are told to hold up their stomachs, sothey have a thin profile. Also, they are constantly looking in mirrors and comparing themselvesto the other dancers in the class. They are seeing who is thinner than they are, and think theyneed to lose weight to be the best dancer in the class.
The sad thing about anorexia is many never totally overcome it. They may spend timein a hospital at the beginning of their treatment, to gain back lost weight. They have to go tomany psychologists and therapists to resolve conflicts and improve self-esteem. Manypatients may seem to recover, just to fall back into starving themselves, or other harmful eatingpatterns.
Up to 30% of all anorexics die of complications of the disorder, or from suicide fromthe depression. With psychiatric help, about 1/3 of all patients overcome this disorder. An important thing for anorexics to remember is that they are not alone. Many normalteenage girls fall into the dangerous disorder of anorexia.
It may seem like the famousactresses, models, and those girls in your school have everything, and that they are perfect,but the truth is everyone is insecure about themselves, and nobody is ever happy all the time. Anorexia is such a dangerous disorder that nobody should starve themselves to have theperfect body society makes them believe they must have. 1. Bode, Janet.
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