Eating Disorders- Dying to be Perfect
The Eating Disorder Epidemic
Many young girls and women with eating disorders like to read up on their disorder. Maybe it's because it gives them new hints and ideas. It could also be that people with eating disorders feel a sense of satisfaction when reading articles relating to them.
A lot of attempts to educate people on eating disorders have actually unintentionally glamorized disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. My goal is not to do that here. I hope to open a few eyes and try to stop females (and males) from going down this ugly and potentially deadly road. Some of the pictures on here will be graphic, however I feel that it is necessary to see what an advanced eating disorder looks like.
There are many types of eating disorders but the main two are anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Anorexics starve themselves. They eat barely enough calories to survive. Bulimics eat large quantities of food and then purge by vomiting, abusing laxatives and diuretics and /or compulsive exercising.
Eating disorders usually start in adolescence but can begin much earlier (even as early as seven) or can begin as an adult. Eating disorders more commonly affect women but men suffer from eating disorders too. Some blame the media for eating disorders but it is more complicated than that. I do agree that the media needs to start acting more responsibly and that fashion designers need to stop glamorizing extreme thinness. There is much more to this epidemic than the media and Hollywood. While the media may influence young people, there is usually an underlying problem.
The person with an eating disorder usually has a low self esteem and is filled with self loathing. She may come from an abusive family or a family that may push their children too hard. People affected by anorexia usually are perfectionists that feel they have to be the best. Perhaps a close family member also suffered from an eating disorder. Many bulimics and anorexics have been sexually abused. There could be many reasons but one thing all people affected by eating orders have in common is that they feel like they are undeserving and worthless.
A Former Model's Tragic End- Italy's Anorexic Poster Girl
Anorexia and Bulimia Go Hand in Hand
People who starve themselves can only deprive themselves for so long before they give in. Once they do give in, they may binge, panic and then purge. This is why people with anorexia usually also suffer from bulimia as well. It is a vicious cycle.
Purging does not help to lose weight. In fact many bulimics (who do not have anorexia) are usually in their normal weight range or slightly overweight.
When anorexics begin eating normal again, they will put on more weight than what they started off with. Even worse, when a person has been starving themselves for a long period of time, there is little chance the person can reverse most of the damage and go back to a normal life.
Anorexia Complications and Long Term Effects
Does being thin equal being beautiful? Here's what you can look forward to as an anorexic.
Amenorreha is the loss of ones' menstrual period. Anorexics will stop having periods without nourishment. Sounds great not to have a monthly period but it's really not. Amenorreha can be dangerous and can create a slew of health problems such as infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.
Hypothermia You need your fat cells. When you stop eating for a long period of time, you will feel cold all the time. The result? Your body will create FUR as a protection against the cold. Glamorous, isn't it?
Premature Aging Anorexics look old. Anorexics have wrinkles, age spots, dark circles and bags.
Anemia is a red blood cell deficiency. Anemia symptoms include shortness of breath, paleness, weakness, hair loss and heart problems.
Heart Disease Heart complications are very common with anorexics. Heart attacks can lead to death.
Bone Loss and Osteoporosis Bone loss is very painful and there is no cure.
Kidney Problems Common and if not treated can result in kidney failure. Kidney failure can land you in a coma and kill you.
Seizures are a result of abnormal excessive activity of nerve cells in the brain.
Anxiety Disorders, OCD and Depression Your brain needs nourishment just as much as the rest of your body. Without nourishment many mental health problems can occur.
Gastrointestinal Complications Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloat and constipation are just a few problems that can occur.
Multi-organ Failure Your body can only take so much. After years of eating disorders, your body will start shutting down in the same way an elderly person's body shuts down. Many anorexics need wheelchairs. Once organs start to fail in this way, the problems may be irreversable.
Premature Death The end result of an eating disorder not treated.
Shocking Footage Including Isabella Caro and Others.
Since bulimics are usually in a normal weight range it's difficult to know if someone is a bulimic. Like anorexics, bulimics lack nourishment and usually have the same similar complications. Additional problems include:
Stomach ulcers and possible stomach rupture
Sores around mouth
Dependence on laxatives to have bowel movements
Permanent damage to the esophagus
Broken blood vessels around eyes which can affect vision.
Many people with eating disorders think they have control of their lives. They believe that what they are doing proves they are strong and have willpower. The fact is that when you have an eating disorder, you are not in control. The disease is in control and you are not just hurting yourself. You are hurting those around you who love you. Death is the ultimate result of an eating disorder left untreated. Think about those you will leave behind if that were to happen to you. Is it really worth it?
Please contact your doctor and get treatment. A few sites that can help you listed here.
NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
help line: 1-800-931-2237
Mirror-Mirror at http://www.mirror-mirror.org/gethelp.htm
help line: 1-800-841-1515
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