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Question Number: 228

Psychopathology : Foundations for a Contemporary Understandingby James E. Maddux and Barbara A. WinsteadOriginal Question:For this week's Forum, respond to the following: What is the primary distinguishing feature between Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa? Review the research findings on societal and familial factors which can contribute to the manifestation and maintenance of these disorders. Reply to the following response with 200 words minimum. (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post. This is not providing an analysis of the original post. Respectfully address it and even ask clarifying or additional questions.) Hi Class,Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are among the most popular eating disorders. Individuals who suffer from anorexia often restrict the amount of food they eat and are very fixated on being thin. As a result of their fixation on being thin, they tend to engage in very abnormal eating habits. On the other hand, bulimia is an eating disorder where individuals tend to overeat or binge then the person would then rid the body of all the food it consumed by purging through laxatives or vomiting. Sadly, some individuals actually suffer from both disorders at the same time. While there is no cure for either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, but there are treatments that are available that can lead to a full recovery even though ongoing treatment efforts are necessary in order for the person to maintain a healthy life.Differences Between Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa There are distinct differences between bulimia and anorexia. The typical age in which one sees the onset of anorexia nervosa is the early teens whereas the onset for bulimia is in the later teen years. In addition, anorexic are often obsessed with being thin which causes them to be quite fixated with weight gain and they are often extremely underweight. On the other hand, individuals with bulimia nervosa are often within the normal weight range but are often physically weak. Interestingly, individuals with anorexia nervosa often have very restrictive diets while individuals with bulimia nervosa sometimes go through periods in which they overeat and would use some measure such as vomiting or laxatives to help purge their bodies of the food. It is also important to note that individuals with anorexia often have to be hospitalized while individuals with bulimia are more unlikely to be hospitalized. Societal and Familial Factors’ Contribution Eating disorders are multifaceted conditions that can arise as a result of many reasons; two of these factors include societal and familial factors. These factors have both contributed to eating disorders; however, they are not necessarily the cause the eating disorders. Sadly, today individuals are bombarded with what are accepted standards of beauty and body image. Many celebrities are praised for their physical appearances and as a result, this sets a standard beauty which their doting fans try to emulate on a regular basis. However, as all body types are not the same some individuals do not achieve that desired celebrity look, therefore, they use various methods such as limiting their food intake or purging food from their stomachs. Moreover, if these individuals do not have the strong family social support system, they can easily internalize societal views of beauty and start comparing themselves against these standards. Soon they begin to believe their bodies will only be perfect if they were to look like these individuals. Sadly, based on their obscured perceptions they will never attain this look. Interestingly, individuals can suffer from an eating disorder as a result of habits that are practiced within their families. Sometimes family member with eating disorders causes other individuals to also have an eating disorder as there are genetic contributions to eating disorders. Moreover, if individuals grow up in households where there are unhealthy eating habits which promote eating disorders, they are more prone to develop an eating disorder themselves.Question to the ClassIf there is no cure for eating disorders, how can a family help their family member who has an eating disorder? As always I welcome your thoughts.

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