During the renaissance times, women embodied the ideals of both beauty and harmony. When the great Florentine painter, Sandro Boticelli, painted the goddess of love, Venus, as a woman with a body curved to perfection, he portrayed voluptuousness as the ideal feminine figure and the bigger women tended to be more attractive to men. Wide hips for women became a symbol of fertility, the ample flesh pointed to good health, and affluence that afforded good living conditions. They embodied the rich, the beautiful, and the highly capable women of those times (Tinagli 1997)
However, as the seasons passed, these beautiful large women gradually disappeared. The bulk slowly became undesirable, not only on women but even on men. Modern movies, television shows, billboards, and magazines showcased almost corpse-thin men and women. Thin and slim bodies became the new ideal and many went into panic just to lose the extra bulk. Frustrated from trying every available remedy without getting their desired results, many of the desperate, dieting people developed health problems and eating disorders.
Eating disorders affect almost five million Americans each year. One of its most common variant is Anorexia nervosa or more commonly known as anorexia. Although it maybe simply put as an illness that makes those suffering from it believe that they are overweight no matter how much body mass they lose, anorexia has more facets that should be explored (ed. Kelly 2006). This paper aims to try to uncover the unexplored facets of the said disorder by presenting facts and data gathered through related literature and studies.
It shall try to discuss the comprehensive treatment of the illness from different perspectives. This shall include analysis of cultural, historical, medical and therapeutic implications. Through exploring the various aspects of the illness, the study may find that anorexia is not merely a mental heath issue of a patient, but also a problem of the society itself. Ana Is Not Just a Girls Name “Please die Ana, for as long as you’re here we’re not… And Ana wrecks your life, like an anorexia life” (Johns 1999)
This song entitled “Ana’s Song” popularized by Silverchair was about Anorexia. Written by the band’s vocalist, Daniel Johns, the song spoke of his personal battles against the disorder. The song has transformed Ana from being just a name for beautiful little to a pseudonym for the psychological disorder, Anorexia Nervosa (Fischer 1999). Anorexia Nervosa is a form of eating disorder characterized by determined dieting, followed by compulsive exercise, sometimes purging behavior either with binge eating or without it.
It also features a disturbed body image, seemingly eternal desire to lose weight, and an enveloping fear of fatness. Anorexia results to a sustained weight loss even when the ideal weight has actually been achieved (Andersen et. al. 2005). This disorder is said to likely develop in women than in men. According to statistics, women have 0. 3 to 1 percent probability to develop the disorder while men have about a tenth as that of women’s rate. Once it has developed, anorexia can be in the form of food restricting or binge eating and purging (Andersen et. al.
2005). The restricting type of Anorexia shows a marked caloric reduction from 300 to 700 kilo-calorie per day, and is commonly followed by compulsive exercises. On the other hand, the binging or purging type may consist of small amounts to several thousands of calories of food consumed then forcibly taken out through self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, or usage of diet pills and other diuretic agents (Andersen et. al. 2005). Most of the time, adolescents and young adult girls are those that are prone to develop anorexia because of a number of factors.
Personality traits like perfectionism and compulsiveness, anxiety disorders, family history of depression and obesity, and peer, familial and most especially cultural pressure are among the reasons for developing anorexia. These factors may lead to the overvaluation of slimness, distortion of the ideal body mass, and the burning desire to lose even the wanted bulk of their bodies (Andersen et. al. 2005). Comprehensive Treatment A 19-year-old man was rushed to the hospital for increasing abdominal pains. He was at his best the entire day until the evening. He did not vomit, nor had diarrhea.
His bowel movements were normal and he had not a single contact with a sick person. He was almost normal and the pain may be considered normal had he not been diagnosed with anorexia four years ago (Herzog et. al. 2008). Even though anorexia is a mental disorder, it can also cause complications such the ones had by the subject in the earlier case. Complications acquired from anorexia are the highest rated causes of fatalities in the field of mental illness. Most of the patients develop abnormalities because of poor health or malnourishment. This is why the problem should be addressed in the quickest most possible way (Herzog et al 2008).