Mentall_Illness_Research_Paper - Nottingham High School...

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Nottingham High School Eating Disorders Mental Illness Research Aliya Clark AP English Literature Mrs. Zizzi-Putman April 10th, 2019
Eating Disorders are classified as an acute mental illness and they affect a wide range of people across race, gender, and age. There are many types of mental illnesses such as pica, or orthorexia. The most common types of eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. They affect approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in America alone. While eating disorders are extremely common they aren’t discussed as much as they should be. They aren’t even reprimanded as much as they should be, celebrities like influencer Kylie Jenner and rapper Cardi B sponsor products that promote laxative abuse, another type of eating disorder. The way bodies and women’s bodies specifically are portrayed in the media is part of the reason these diseases are so common. (“What are Eating Disorders? ” National Eating Disorder Association.) Anorexia nervosa literally means “loss of appetite,” it’s an eating disorder in which the sufferer starves themselves for varying amounts of time. Anorexics tend to limit their calorie intake and are sometimes also bulimic, and/or laxative abusers. Anorexia is more common in females than in males but affects all sorts of people including obese people who often go undiagnosed because many people assume you have to have an extremely, visibly low body weight to be anorexic. Anorexia is a potentially life-threatening disease that has taken many lives already. To be diagnosed with anorexia a person needs to have already lost 15% of their body weight. There are many warning signs of anorexia besides the most obvious, significant weight loss. Anorexia can be identified by fear of getting fat, turning away food, denying hunger, compulsive exercise,
cold sensitivity, absent or irregular periods, hair loss, tooth decay, fatigue, isolation, depression, vomiting or misuse of laxatives. If you believe you identify anorexia in a loved one you should take them to a hospital depending on how pressing their physical state is and always take them to a therapist or psychologist. Many people assume treatment for anorexia is as simple as feeding a patient and restoring their physical health but its a combination of introducing the patient to healthy ways to take care of their body and healthy coping mechanisms to take care of their mental health. Doctors will pay attention to the patient's heart function, bone loss, and level of electrolytes in the blood. Psychologists and mental health professionals will focus on eliminating self-destructive mindsets to improve the outlook of the patients through psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is “a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing the thinking (cognitive therapy) and behavior (behavioral therapy) of a person with an eating disorder.” (Anorexia Nervosa Health Center.” Web MD) They also use nutrition counseling to reintroduce to the patient to healthy eating patterns and help them be reinforced at home. Medication is

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