Anorexia nervosa, also referred simply as anorexia, is a form of eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, food restriction, low body weight and a strong desire to be thin. In the United States, millions of men and women are affected by an eating disorder at some time in their life. Such eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, binge, bulimia nervosa and EDNOS. This essay is a discussion of the problem of anorexia nervosa eating disorder and a review of the literature on three publications focused on different methods of treating the condition. The essay is also a summary of findings based on the comparison of the three forms of interventions that could be used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
Characteristics of Anorexia Nervosa
In the anorexias cycle of self-starvation, a person's body is denied essential nutrients that it requires for it to function properly. As a result, the body is mandated to slow down all its functional processes so as to conserve energy. In most cases, this makes the body suffer complications such as remarkably slow heart rate, osteoporosis (reduction in bone density), severe dehydration and low blood pressure. A person with anorexia nervosa could also suffer from fatigue, fainting, dry skin, and hair, as well as overall body weakness. A person could also suffer from lanugo, which is a growth of a layer of hair on the body and face. The hair grows so as to keep the person's body warm.
Prevalence of Anorexia Disorder in the United States
It is estimated that approximately 8 million persons in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder (DMH, 2006). Among them, approximately seven million are women, and one million are men. In addition, one in every 200 women in the U.S. suffers from anorexia nervosa (DMH, 2006). Also, nearly half of all persons in the United States personally know about a person suffering from an eating disorder. It is assessed that approximately 10 to 15 percent of all people with anorexia or bulimia in the U.S. are males (DMH, 2006). According to a study performed by National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, approximately 5 to 10 percent of all anorexics in the U.S. die after contracting the disease (DMH, 2006).
In addition, approximately 18 to 20 percent of persons with anorexia die within 20 years after attaining the condition (DMH, 2006). In addition, 30 to 40 percent of all anorexics never fully recover (DMH, 2006). In the U.S., anorexia is considered to be the third most common chronic disease among adolescents. In addition, approximately 95 percent of all persons who have eating disorders in the U.S. are aged between 12 and 25 (DMH, 2006). Also, approximately 50 percent of all girls aged between 11 and 13 view themselves as overweight (DMH, 2006). In addition, approximately 80 percent of 13-year-old girls attempt to lose weight (DMH, 2006).
According to a publication authored by Weaver & Liebman (2011), anorexia nervosa can be treated by integrating psychiatry, medicine, and reciprocal interactions between patients and their family systems with the assessment procedure aimed at determining whether a person is suffering from the condition. The publication was focused on children and adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa. According to the publication, medical practitioners that are focused on treating anorexia nervosa should have the necessary assessment skills of eliciting the history of the patients within their family systems context as well as the ability of patients to engage in treatment. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment successfully stimulates patients and families to engage in quality clinical care as a treatment for the anorexia nervosa.
According to a publication authored by Presnell et al. (2009), there exists a relationship between depression and disordered eating behaviors. Such conditions include various forms of nervosa such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa among others. According to the publication, eating disorders such as nervosa can be controlled by identifying the various possible mechanisms that link depressive behavior and nervosa symptoms. In addition, the publication stated that some of the factors that could make a person adopt disordered eating behaviors could include low distress tolerance, ruminative coping style as well as temperamental negative affectivity among others. The publication ascertained that by identifying and treating the risk factors of depressive behavior, health care practitioners can treat and prevent the attainment of nervosa in persons.
According to a publication authored by Gaudio and Ciommo (2011), an effective assessment of personality disorder among adolescents with anorexia nervosa can facilitate the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This is in providing an enhanced accurate diagnosis of the condition and in facilitating better treatment planning. According to the publication, there exists a close association between anorexia nervosa and personality disorder among adults. In addition, the publication states that the presence of personality disorder increases the severity of anorexia nervosa in a person. As such, the treatment of personality disorder can be considered to be an effective initial intervention in treating anorexia nervosa.
From the three publications, it is evident that there are different methods that can be used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. According to Weaver and Liebman's (2011) publication, anorexia nervosa can be treated by integrating patients assessment with psychiatry, medicine, and reciprocal interactions between them and their family systems. Nevertheless, this methodology of treating anorexia nervosa is different from the one proposed by the publication authored by Presnell et al. (2009). According to the latter publication, there exists a relationship between depression and disordered eating behaviors. By treating depression among young persons, a health care practitioner can immensely reduce their risks of suffering from different forms of anorexia nervosa. On the other hand, the two methods of treating anorexia nervosa are different from the method discussed by Gaudio and Ciommos (2011) publication. In the publication, an effective assessment of personality disorder among adolescents with anorexia nervosa can be used for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
In conclusion, anorexia nervosa is a form of eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, food restriction, low body weight and a strong desire to be thin. It is a disease that distresses millions of women and men in the United States and other parts of the world. From past research, it is evident that anorexia nervosa can be treated using various methodologies. For instance, anorexia nervosa can be treated by integrating patients assessment with psychiatry, medicine, and reciprocal interactions between them and their family systems. Alternatively, anorexia nervosa can be cured by treating depression among young persons. Ultimately, the disease can also be treated by effectively assessing and treating the personality disorder amongst adolescents suffering from anorexia nervosa.
DMH. (2006). Eating Disorders Statistics. Retrieved November 16, 2016, from DMH South Carolina Department of Mental Health: https://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm
Gaudio, S., & Di Ciommo, V. (2011, November). Prevalence of personality disorders and their clinical correlates in outpatient adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73(9), 769-774. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e318235b9b5
Presnell, K., Stice, E. Seidel, A. & Madeley, Mary. C. BIBLIOGRAPHY "Depression and Eating Pathology: Prospective Reciprocal Relations in Adolescents." Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 16 (2009): 357365. 14 November 2016.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Weaver, L., & Liebman, R. (2011, April). Assessment of Anorexia Nervosa in Children and Adolescents. Current Psychiatry Reports, 13(2), 93-98. doi:10.1007/s11920-010-0174-y
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