Anorexia: A Mental Disorder

Mental disorders are something that can be found in any human. One of the deadliest mental illnesses is anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is defined as a serious eating disorder that is characterized primarily by a pathological fear of weight gain leading to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and usually excessive weight loss. It has a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness. This disease affects people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientation, and ethnicities. One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia. More than 20% of female and males die from the consequences of anorexia nervosa every year in different regions. (Lloyd et al.) Anorexia can be caused by multiple factors and the effects can be even more severe.

Anorexia nervosa is caused by three main factors. These include advertising, hereditary, or stress. Advertising, or role modeling, is a huge contribution to the cause of anorexia, especially in women. The Victoria Secret Annual Fashion Show is an event that takes a toll of a female’s confidence. They watch as these beautiful, foreign, and of course, skinny women strut their stuff with confidence. This is when women with this mental illness start to think “”Why don’t I look like this? I am not beautiful. How can I look like this and obtain this amount of attention? By advertising this particular body look, which is seen in magazines, television, and social media, women start to feel low about themselves and the eating disorder process begins. This is when anorexia will start taking place. Some people experience anorexia because of their family genes. Anorexia can be hereditary, in which, people will get this mental illness from their family. In an article by Lisa Lilenfeld she states “”In a study of DNA from 192 individuals in family groupings at least one of the family had to have a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, while one or more other family members had displayed some type of eating disorder. (Lilenfeld) The last possible cause of anorexia is stress. This is found within many young adults in college. Moving from high school to college is a very hard transition. You have to face being on your own, more work, and finding new friends. This can cause stress and result in losing their appetite. Even when coming to the end of your college career people start to worry about what they will do next. Whether its law, medical, or graduate school you have to go through a brand new process to get accepted into those. The tests and studying start to roll in and you begin to stress out about how to manage it all. All these components can cause mental illness anorexia.

A series of devastating effects can take place in someone who doesn’t obtain treatment. The causes of anorexia result in even worst effects including loss of appetite, poor health conditions, and stressful situations. An article by Chris Freeman explains, “”Anorexia is known as an eating disorder which is when the outcome becomes the loss of appetite. This is because people fear to gain weight so they purposely avoid food. (Freeman) Most of the times the loss of appetite is caused by an underlying medical condition. Another effect of anorexia can be poor health conditions. People tend to stop caring for themselves when they go through something crucial like this. Poor health conditions can also be mental. This includes depression which could possibly lead to suicide. Most people dealing with anorexia tend to stay in their bed all day. They don’t take the time to care for themselves by taking showers, brushing their teeth, etc. This is because they feel their body is messed up in a way and there’s no possible way to correct it. The last effect of anorexia is being put into stressful situations. When your mind is focused on your body and weight you don’t think about the many other important things. Since this disease is found in most young adults this can affect their education. Students start to stop caring about their schoolwork or even attending school. Your home environment can be a part of a stressful situation too. Most parents don’t understand why this could be happening to their children and just try to do everything right to fix it. In the end this could result in making the child more anxious and having less of a desire to eat then before.

Finding solutions to anorexia can become the hardest step.It isn’t seen as an easy choice as most people believe this disease is a part of their “”identity. It makes people feel it has so much power over them that they will never be able to overcome it. One solution is to admit you have a problem. When realizing that what you’re going through is wrong you need to push away the thought that life will get better and so will you if you just lose more weight. You must first admit that your relentless pursuit of thinness is not in your control. You must acknowledge the physical and mental damage you’ve been causing yourself to go through. Another solution is to talk someone. If you’ve kept this a secret for a while it is hard to first open up. It’s good to understand you’re not alone and you will never be the only person facing this problem. The last way to help fix anorexia is to stay away from people, place, or anything that triggers your obsession with being thin. That means avoid watching videos on models or girls that are considered “”perfect. Try to not spend a lot of time with friends who diet or complain about their weight. These solutions can end up being very beneficial in the long run.

All in all, there are many causes and effects to anorexia. Social media will always have a terrible effect on the confidence of people. It is always good to try and stay calm and to relax, as stress can cause it also. People must also understand that sometimes it can be hereditary. The act of starving yourself results in the loss of appetite, while turning into poor health habits. By combining the acts of admitting your problem, opening up, and avoiding triggering situations anorexia can be solved.

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