The World Book Encyclopedia defines anorexia as, one who avoids food for psychological reasons. Most experts believe that those who suffer from anorexia are starving themselves to avoid growing into adults. It is also common knowledge among these experts that anorexics want to gain attention and a sense of being special. People say that anorexia doesn’t stop at affecting the victim at hand; instead, it surpasses the anorexic. Which means that anorexia affects the personality of the person; that it branches off to affect other parts of that anorexics life. Body image obsession, self-devotion, attention grabbing, selfishness, are all attributes which keenly describe anorexia in the eyes of the media and most hospital institutions. It is that view point which affect modern societies view eating disorders, and anorexia in particular. Examples can be found in the recent attention paid towards anorexia, most of this well deserved attention, however, is not positive. Sketches on television viewed by the programming of such shows as Saturday Night Live, poke fun at anorexics by making them into exactly what the media prefers them to be, and shows that all the attributes are true. Others like radio legend Howard Stern has games like Guess The Bulimic. It is things like these that make it very difficult for one suffering from an eating disorder to come out and seek help in fear of being hurt. Imagine, if you will, being in lonely, miserable cell. You have the ability to leave at anytime, and there at the door are your family and friends, encouraging you to escape. However, there is a drill bit in your back and every time you try to move, it pushes into your back. You’re restrained, restricted from freedom. That is a sketchy portrayal of the eternal pain the anorexic mind suffers from. It’s hardly a child trying to get attention, much less a child making a dangerous attempt to gain social acceptance. Those who treat anorexia in modern medical practice try, not to cure the eating disorder, but rather to go straight to the root of a deeper psychological problem. The number of misinformed professionals in the medical world is staggering. This can only be shown by the education they receive while in college. The information on eating disorders is vast, but woefully understudied by qualified persons. Few in the medical community have a meaningful connection with anorexia or the family of eating disorders it belongs to. The education of the general public is crucial to the development of medical treatment. If the public cares about something, the problem will get resolved in time. Like my father says, If the moon were made of gold, or some other valuable material, we would have colonies there already. This is very true in today’s medical industry, if something is profitable or appealing to the public or a private investor, then there will be progress. The media does not promote the healing of anorexics in anyway, and we have too few private investors to support the fight against this escalating problem. The methods employed by American hospitals today to cure anorexia are equivalent to treating AIDS with cough drops. Neither will do anything to cure the disease or the person. There is no advanced knowledge of anorexia, and the treatment is treating nothing other then the sense that disease controls the person, and not the other way around. Because current medical and hospital treatment is terribly outdated and torturous to the victims of anorexia, the medical community needs to revolutionize not only the treatment of its victims, but also the education of the general public.
The diagnostic criteria for anorexia by the official DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is …refusal to maintain body weight?? Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even if underweight. The DSM IV also specifies two types, the Restricting type and the Binge eating/purging (self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.) type. The
Restrictive type has not regularly engaged in binge eating or purging behavior. The Binge eating/purging type the person has regularly engaged in binge eating or purging behavior. Although the second type is close to Bulimia, it is