The Psychological Effects Of Eating Disorders

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Eating disorders are a growing public health concern, it is estimated that eight million United States citizens are affected by an eating disorder. Twice as many women as men are affected by eating disorders (Dwyer, Olsen, & Oei, 2013). Other disorders including depression, or substance abuse, often accompany an eating disorder, which rarely occurs alone (Comer, 2013). Regardless of race, social economic status, gender, eating disorders affect all demographics. Eating disorders distort a person’s mental and physical state. A large percent of the time eating disorders are linked with psychological problems such as: depression, suicide, and substance abuse (Johnston, 2006). It is noted that anorexia nervosa has the largest death rate of all …show more content…
Biological psychologists look at the influence of hormones, genes, the brain and the central nervous system and at the way we think, feel, and act (Johnston, 2006). Eating Disorders sometimes run in families, but no one knows for sure how the disorder develops. Researchers have found that several parts of the brain are involved in fear and anxiety (Sjoerds et al., 2013). Some people more than others are born more vulnerable to anorexia, bulimia, and depression (Myer, 2008). Researchers have hypothesized that high levels of serotonin may cause people to experience eating disorders. To gain control of the eating disorders individuals restrict their food intake (Gale, …show more content…
People suffering from bulimia typically binge eat and then eliminate the calories consumed. Bulimics usually self induce vomiting or take laxatives or diuretics to eliminate calories. Similar to the anorexic, anxiety in bulimics is often present before the eating disorder. Binging and purging behavior is typically done in private and can be obsessive. Bulimia Nervosa and anorexia are very similar in regard to symptomology. One major difference between bulimia and anorexia, is that bulimia has the purging component. Purging becomes compensatory behaviors through vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics. While a person can have anorexia with a purging component, bulimia also requires a person to consume a large amount of food in a small amount of time. Another differentiation factor is that women suffer from amenorrhea, which is caused from anorexia, not

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