Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Eating Disorders Psychology: Analytical Essay

Words: 1486
Pages: 3
This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Feeding and eating disorders have evolved into western societies over the past 30 years. This could be connected to the overabundance of food; however, it is most likely to be affected by social norms, that link the desirableness to be thin. Feeding and eating disorders are mental health disorders, explained by atypical eating habbits that negatively affect an individual’s physical and mental health.

Eating disorders are classified as a mental illness provoking significant ramifications on the lives of the individual it effects and their family. Therefor an understanding of the condition is crucial and also the psychology approaches to understanding and treating them. The term eating disorders have been defined as a continuing disturbance of eating behaviors. Eating disorders are characterized by unusual eating patterns. Individuals with eating disorders would frequently use food and the control of food to compensate for feelings or emotions, causing eating patterns that are atypical. Anorexia Nervosa and bulimia have appeared as the main disorders. Individuals may begin to purge, binge or severely diet and reduce calorie intake to feel control of their life. This behavioral problem significantly impairs physical health and mental health. Defining eating disorders can be challenging, they are complicated conditions that emerge from an amalgamation of longstanding behavioral, psychological, emotional and social factors.

The history of eating disorders is said to have dated back as far as 400 BC, Hippocrates wrote a script called on the disease of young women, this indicates a similar condition to anorexia nervosa. The suggested cause of this extreme weight loss was put down to abnormal menstrual cycle. To overcome this, he proposed that marriage and pregnancy were recommended as best treatment. St Catherine of Siena was another example in the 14th century she was a saint who wanted to be closer to God, fasting indicated holiness and purity, however low weight and starvation in this era was also linked to demonic possession, so Catherine always only ate a very small amount each day as she was mindful that she would be called a witch. In the end Catherine refused to eat and she starved herself until her death at the age of 33. Early cultural behaviors show similarities to eating behaviors today, however they are culturally and socially defined as eating disorders. (Hall,2021)

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) means nervous lack of appetite. This condition typically begins at the age 16-17. It effects mostly women. It can start with an adolescence who may be concerned with puppy fat who then begin to diet. The dieting progresses to a continual attempt to attain an abnormally low body weight. The patient then advances to excessive concerns about weight. The patient would restrict the energy intake, they will consistently take in fewer calories than they would normally require, and the results are significantly low body weight. The sufferer would gain an intense fear of gaining weight or being fat even though they may appear thin. As a result, the patient may conduct in unusual behaviours, for example excessive exercising. People with anorexia have a distorted self-perception. The patient may believe that they are overweight even if they are significantly thin, and they never accept the seriousness of their low weight. At this stage the patient has a full-blown eating disorder and a pathological condition. Anorexia Nervosa (AN), is the main most common eating disorder in the UK. Around 1 in 250 females and 1 in 2000 males suffer from the disease at some part of their lives. (NHS)

It wasn’t until the 19th century that the eating problem or behavior was officially diagnosed as a psychological condition. The diagnostic and statistical model, known as the DSM-IV model sets the criteria needed to diagnose eating disorders, it was a very welcomed tool for psychologists to diagnose mental health disorders. In 1983 the model was modified and got its own section after they removed it from the disorders of childhood and adolescence section. The advancement of the DSM to the DSM-IV involved modifications to better analyze and detect the symptoms and behaviors associated with people with eating disorders.

People who have anorexia or eating disorders have many symptoms the signs are avoiding socializing especially when they know or think food is involved. It can be noticeable they may be eating very little food. deliberately making yourself sick or consuming laxatives after you eat, exercising too much, changes in your mood. Other co-existing psychological problems associated with anorexia are depression, anxiety obsessive behaviour and impaired physical development.There may also be physical signs, for example, feeling cold, tired or dizzy, problems with your digestion, or not getting periods in women and girls.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Eating disorders are primarily psychiatric in nature, they are also indicative of a social problem. Eating disorders are also culturally induced diseases. There are ongoing debates surrounding the explanations for eating disorders for example, ( DiNicola 1990) suggests that there is a degree of cultural rather than individual factors as part of the explanations for eating disorders. Social institutions profit from the cult of thinness, and this is encouraged by the mass media. We live in a media structured world, with TV, films, videos, newspapers, fasion designers, internet. Research has come to light that the media does contribute to eating disorders; and the exposure to pressure applied by the media increases body dissatisfaction. The female body is reflected and represented in the media as an object of beauty and desire; and manufactures a dream world of high standards that observe the glorification of thinness and weight loss. (Psychology, Gross.R)

French model and actress Isabella Carlo suffered from anorexia since the early age of 13. She maintains that it was caused by her troublesome childhood. In her words I had a very complicated childhood, very difficult and very painful. She told how her mother in fact had a phobia that she would grow and spent all her time constantly measuring her height. Her mother would not let her out with fear that she had heard that fresh air makes children grow and kept her at home. She exclaimed how it was a very traumatic experience. She posed for an Italian advertising campaign, weighing only 60lbs4 stone 2lbs to raise awareness of the illness and to highlight to the media about the use of very thin models. Barlow and Durland, 1995 stated that a half of the participants taking part in Miss America, a televised beauty contest was 15% or more under their expected weight. The startling fact that there is a large number of American women with desires to be thin. (Hall,2021)

Scientists are continually investigating possible links to biochemical or biological factor involved with eating disorders. In some sufferers with eating disorders specific chemicals in the brain that control appetite, hunger along with digestion have found to be unbalanced. However, the significances and the ramifications of these imbalances maintain under investigation. Further, research has indicated that eating disorders run in families, reveling significant genetic involvement with eating disorders. In the UK it is said to be between 1.25 and 3.4 million people who suffer from eating disorders and 40% are bulimia sufferers. With the onset is around the age of 1819 years old. (

Treating eating disorders will always be specific to the individual and the type of eating disorder. In general term the treatment goals for anorexia nervosa are weight gain and for bulimia the aim of the treatment is to reduce the desire to purge. With Anorexia nervosa the goal will be to restore the suffer to a healthy weight. Treating the underlying psychological issues connected to the disorder. It is often that individuals with eating disorders fail to recognize or admit that they are ill, they may strongly resist treatment. Reducing and eliminating behaviours and thoughts that proceed to distorted thinking, while trying to achieve long term remission and rehabilitation. I will discuss three approaches to treating eating disorders.

Salvador Minuchin, (1978) designed a psychodynamic theory of anorexia which views the role of the family as a composite family system, the most extensive system that influences development and behaviours. The family systems theory of eating disorders focuses on interactions among family members and keep them tightly secured around the anorexia sufferers. Minuchin focuses on four main features, as anorexia mainly affects females, more than males, the family system theory looks at the relationship between the mother and daughter, and relationships in the family circle.

The treatment applications for the family systems therapy are managed as an outpatient therapy and it is designed to reclaim the sufferer’s autonomy and control. With the aim to disentangle the family system and their relationships. Stage one focuses on the mending of physical health managed by the parents. The nature of this eating disorder the sufferer may need help and guidance in making healthy choices regarding food and eating. Parents gain responsibility at this vulnerable stage of the treatment in what and the amount of food the individual eats; and generally reducing the exercise mainly mimicking what treatment team would do.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Eating Disorders Psychology: Analytical Essay. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“Eating Disorders Psychology: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
Eating Disorders Psychology: Analytical Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
Eating Disorders Psychology: Analytical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.