No Food for Thought

A walk through a grocery store is a bizarre experience. People from all walks of life surround you in a common attempt to purchase wares. As is very evident, all those whom you encounter are uncannily unique in their physical characteristics. Some people are short, others are tall, some are skinny, and others overweight. God has designed us each with our own builds; however, we must be wary to care for ourselves by maintaining a proper weight. Frequently when we think about maintaining our weight, we think about the dangers of obesity. Often we forget the risks of growing anorexic.

Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous eating disorder that occurs when an individual grows obsessed with dieting and takes it to an extreme. They generally stop eating most foods, and, in some cases, exercise compulsively. But more than a physical eating disorder, anorexia is very psychological. It results from a lack of control in one’s life. Usually people who become anorexic are over-achievers in most every aspect of their life. They feel a pressure to perform well, including physically. As they lose themselves in this meaningless struggle for appearance, they become addicted to controlling their diets. Eventually, their thoughts are focalized on food. They begin to obsess over not eating in an attempt to stay skinny. In fact, anorexics might even be considered people with a phobia of becoming fat. It truly is a mental disorder.

Teenage girls are the most likely to become anorexic. This is because of the Western culture that brainwashes today’s youth to believe that beauty is found in unhealthful thinness. In fact, one out of every one hundred Americans girls suffers from anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is much more common in females; however, the population of male anorexics is growing rapidly. Anyone can become anorexic, but scientists have recently discovered that some people are more predisposed to it than others due the first chromosome.

Someone with anorexia nervosa may have several symptoms. They may become weak, experience shortness of breath, or their skin may become yellowed and brittle. Oftentimes, their fingernails may acquire a bluish tint, and they may have constant constipation. Their fingernails are easily broken, and their hair may even fall out. Sometimes a layer of downy hair begins to grow on the face, arms, and legs. Anorexics also appear extremely thin. Their blood counts may become exceptionally irregular, even dangerous. If they contract a sickness it becomes hard for them to fight it off due to low white blood cell counts. It is for this reason that 6% of anorexics eventually day. These are some of the highest death rates of any eating disorder.

Anorexia is not a hopeless, however. With proper treatment, a normal lifestyle can easily be regained. This treatment includes mental therapy. This therapy can be either in-patient or out-patient depending on the severity of the case. If the patient requires continued therapy, a weight gain of one to three pounds per week is considered a healthy gain. Because anorexia is not just an eating disorder but also a psychological issue, it is treated as an addiction. Truly, it is an addiction to not eating, and, in some cases, exercise, laxatives, and dieting pills. Anorexics must work through their fear of being overweight and their need for control in their life. Counseling is the most proven method for overcoming this disorder, although some scientists are experimenting with different drugs that may help. None have been found to directly aid in curing anorexia nervosa, but certain antidepressants do help with eliminating some of the irritability that is common in these cases.

Doctors have determined that the best thing that they can do is raise awareness of the dangers that anorexia presents. Truly, anorexics need prayer as they get over their serious addiction.





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