anorexia nervosa and Pressures on Young Teens
Social Studies Fair
January 22, 2007
This research paper is about anorexia nervosa. The paper describes the definition of anorexia. It explains the symptoms, how to diagnose it, and all of the health problems that anorexics will develop. The ways it is treated is also talked about. The paper shows the ways that teenagers are affected by different pressures which may be part of the cause of getting anorexia.
Information for this research paper was found through the internet from medical journal articles and a real interview from a 38 year old woman who had anorexia when she was 13 years old.
This paper was written to show that there are certain pressures that are put on young teenagers and how they may be part of the cause of the disease.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 4
CHAPTER II LEARNING ABOUT ANOREXIA Error! Bookmark not defined.
Signs and Symptoms………………………………………………………………….5
CHAPTER III TREATMENT Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER IV CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………11
Anorexia It would seem today that eating disorders are on the rise. While this may be true, the numbers may appear to grow only because more cases are being brought out into the open. The purpose of this paper is to discuss eating disorders and prove that these diseases, specifically Anorexia Nervosa, continue to plague both sexes due to psychological and environmental factors along with pressure ...
Many young teenage girls are obsessed with having a flat stomach. What may start out as a simple diet turns into an obsession with not eating, over exercising, and taking diet pills to lose more weight.
Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological, eating disorder that affects about 1% of mostly adolescent girls in the U.S. (Stoppler and Shiel, 2006).
Some say maybe 10% of young teenage girls have anorexia. Anoerexia has one of the highest death rates of the psychological disorders. About 6% of them die from effects of the disease.
This paper explores the effects of anorexia, diagnosis, and treatments available, and discusses the social pressures which contribute to the cause of anorexia in adolescents.
Anorexia Nervosa has both emotional and social causes which affect young teens during a time in their lives when they are very sensitive to social and peer pressure.
Anorexia Nervosa is described as an eating disorder in which those affected intentionally starve themselves, losing at least fifteen percent of their normal body
weight (Hirst, J., 1998).
MedicineNet, an internet database, describes anorexia as an eating disorder which symptoms include depression, withdrawing from friends, extreme tiredness, heart and stomach problems, kidney problems, and their skin may become flaky with brittle nails, and they may lose their teeth.
There are many symptoms for anorexia, and some people may not experience all of these. These include body weight that is not right for their age or size, which is usually about 15% below the normal weight. They may lose 3 menstrual cycles, refuse to eat in public, become extra worried and stressed, become very weak. Their skin becomes very dry and brittle, trouble breathing, and obsessed over the amount of calories they eat. Warning signs include throwing up after meals, fainting, over-exercising, denying their problem, and calluses on the knuckles from forcing themselves to throw up their food.
Teenagers do a good job of hiding their weight loss by wearing lots of clothes that are baggy, so parents their parents won’t notice their weight loss.
The Term Paper on To What Extent Does the Media Affect Body Image in Teens and Their Perception of Beauty
... the Media on Anorexia. “Low self-esteem contributes to a distorted body image, and the distorted body image can’t be ... Media? In my appendix, I have included some tables, which include the results from the questionnaires I ... and articles in magazines have a bigger affect on us than we initially think. On ... that claims women have lower levels of weight concern after exposure to average models wasn’t ...
For a doctor to diagnose a person with anorexia, they have to follow the book of guidelines for mental disorders. The following are symptoms the anorexic must have to be considered a real anorexic.
A weight loss of at least 15 percent.
Scared of gaining weight and being obsessed with this fear.
They look fat when they look in the mirror, but in reality they are not. This hurts their self-esteem and confidence. Even though they are starving to death, they cannot see this.
They will not have at least three menstrual cycles.
According to Stoppler and Shiel, “Most of the medical complications of anorexia nervosa result from starvation.” Many organs in their bodies are affected very badly by anorexia. These include effects on the heart and circulatory system, stomach, the organs that make hormones, kidneys. They may also get low on their electrolytes, and have low iron.
The heart is affected by a very slow heart rate, low blood pressure, and the heart rhythm is messed up.
Stomach and intestinal problems from anorexia include constipation, stomach pain, and food tak4es longer to get into the body. Starvation and using pills to cause them to use the bathroom will mess up the way the body gets rid of wastes.
Hormones are affected which causes the anorexic to not have their menstrual cycle. This can affect their chances of getting pregnant and their bones may not grow right. If anorexics continue to starve themselves, the thyroid organ in the body will slow down to save calories to try to prevent the person from starving.
Electrolytes like Potassium get very low which can be caused by using laxatives. This may threaten their life.
Low iron in the body is also common in anorexic people.
Physical symptoms besides extreme weight loss are dry, flaky skin that looks yellow, very fine hair grows on the face, back, arms, and legs. Nails can become brittle. Frequent vomiting can take off the enamel layer on the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.
Anorexia is not just about food. Those who get anorexia may be having other problems, like trying to be perfect all the time, and other problems that make them want to have more control over their lives. Losing weight is the one way they feel they can control their lives.
We all seem to think of the same things when we picture 'high school'. Cheerleaders, proms, report cards, football games. We all remember the A honor roll students, and how much time they spent studying. The thing that I have always questioned is, do children that come from lower status families do worse in school than ones from higher status families? I noticed as early as middle school that the ...
One of the confusing things about anorexia is the different reasons for the cause of anorexia. People who study this disease say different things. Some say social and family pressure, others say its genetics, and everyone is different. Anorexia is caused by a combination of these different things which affects more teens because of their age and the social pressures of school, friends, family, activities. Trying to balance everything “perfectly,” while feeling like things are out of control in their lives is a major reason of developing this illness.
The ways in which families interact together is another source of triggers for the disease. Anorexics often come from families who try to control too much of the teens life. control. Teen health may be affected by these restraints as the teenager’s need to assert independence develops. If the family is overprotective in a bad way, individual family members can become dependant on the family for their identity. “A child or teen who relies on her place in the family for identity may develop anorexia due to a fear of growing up” (p.5).
“Other anorexics come from families that overemphasize appearance, fitness and thinness, or have parents who consistently criticized their body shape or weight. A family history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or substance abuse increases the risk of anorexia nervosa” (p. 5).
People with anorexia nervosa are often perfectionists, who are overly critical of themselves, and may have low-self esteem. Anorexics also tend to socially isolate themselves, and to avoid conflict when possible.
Early diagnosis and treatment is very important in the chance for recovery of anorexic people. Eating disorders are most successful when treated early. Some people may go into the hospital for treatment, and others may only need to get help through an outpatient treatment like group therapy 3 times per week. Treatments include psychotherapy, which is one on one treatment with a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in helping to change abnormal thoughts and bad behaviors. The patient getting help for this illness must gain one to three pounds per week until their weight reaches within 10% normal. Physicians, nurses, and nutritionists are all important professionals who deal with helping anorexic patients get well.
... disorders in todays society are Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. They are characterized as psychological disorders, ... and at their family history. Eating disorders can sometimes run in family health. In Bishop ... in society today. Deitel, Bob. Teens and Eating Disorders. Washington Post. January 16, 1994. ... disorders are developed among todays women. (Matthews 63) Many young women today blame peer pressure, ...
The reason treatment is so difficult is because anorexic patients do not think that their weight is abnormal. They really see themselves as being fat when they look in the mirror, even though normal people can see their bones poking out. They feel like as long as they starve themselves, that they are in control, which makes them feel comfortable.
Anorexia Nervosa is a complex eating disorder with no certain one cause. Anorexia is caused by many different factors. Young teen girls are most affected, and chances of developing the disorder are affected by individual personalities, the different ways in which way families function together, and many social pressures. Research is being done right now on the role that genetics plays in making a person more apt to get anorexia. There are so many unanswered questions, such as, why are some adolescents so hard to treat, and die as a result. Why are girls mostly affected and not boys? Another important factor to consider is the biological role played in the cause of anorexia. Young teens need more information. Schools should start offering stuff to the students and parents to learn about this. This could be accomplished by making educational pamphlets available at school, and hosting guest speakers who have actually had anorexia to come to the schools and talk about what they went through and how they were able to overcome this terrible disorder. They could even set up a hotline to call for adolescents, who may think they have anorexia, or any other emotional disorder. Hopefully, with more information available to educate adolescents and parents, advanced research, and newer, more effective treatments developed, the chances for developing anorexia may decline.
Peer pressure, and pressures from school and families adds to the risks for developing this illness. It may begin as an innocent diet to lose a few pounds to get noticed by the cute guy, or strive for the perfect body, but it turns into such a dangerous game.
Eating Disorders Among Female Adolescent Athletes In 1988, 15-year-old gymnast Christy Henrich was closing in on her lifelong dream of making the Olympics. One of the top female gymnasts in the country, she was a leading contender for one of the six coveted spots on the squad that would represent the United States in Seoul. However, earlier that year, a judge at a national competition had ...
There is so much pressure on teens. Pressure to succeed, make good grades, and prepare for college. Balancing activities with homework, friends, church, and family are all things that stress teenagers. Not all adolescents want to grow up right now. Friends are important to adolescents, and this is an important time in their lives as they discover what they want to be one day. There is so much pressure to please parents. Parents should just let adolescents be adolescents, a time of life to discover who they are, develop friendships, and just enjoy simple moments, like plain old having fun.
Eating Disorders: Facts for Teens. 2006
Fact Sheet: Information for parents. “Anorexia nervosa in children and young people”
August 2002. Transcultural Mental Health Centre
Hirst, Jeremy. “Biological Causes of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
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Signs and Symptoms. In Anorexia Nervosa (chap.1).
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What Causes Anorexia? Social Pressure, Psychology, or Serotonin?. Psychiatric Disorders. Retrieved December 8, 2006, from
Stoppler, Melissa and Shiel, William. MedicineNet, 2006.
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