Treating Anorexia Nervosa
“Anorexia nervosa is a psychosomatic syndrome characterized by both physical and psychological symptoms” (Nagel, 1993). Some of these symptoms include amenorrhea (absence of menstrual period), cold sensitivity, severe distorted body image, a fine downy hair covering the body, hoarding of food, paleness and weight at least 15% below standard body weight. Along with these physical symptoms, there is usually an intense fear of being out of control with eating food and the immediate result usually use any form of life-risking measure to insure control of their weight. Some examples of these include self-induced vomiting, use of ipecac, diuretics or laxatives and extreme or compulsive exercise (Nagel, 1993). This common eating disorder has started to reach epidemic proportions in both adolescent male and females (Hamlett, 1990). Although it usually begins in puberty, this syndrome does tend to stretch through early and middle adulthood if left untreated. Adolescents usually begin to have experiences with their bodies in different life situations and the expectation of others is usually less predictable.
Many of the research articles that I studied tended to compare and contrast both the causes of anorexia nervosa in males and females, and the different types of treatments available for people who suffer this illness. For example, a similar cause that was researched throughout most of the articles was that society portrays an ideal person and body appearance as thin and slender. A girl or boy then finds to fit this image they must use chronic dieting as a way of life (Nagel, 1992). The stereotype then set in the adolescent’s mind is that obesity is associated with lazy and sloppy people and slimness is associated with beauty, friendship, and intelligence (Nagel, 1992).
On the second issue of treatments, I found that there were several different types that were recommended. In the article by Nagel and Jones, the main treatment discussed...