ANERIXOA




Models are pretty and thin and are often taken as role models of
success. However they must be underweight to look "perfect" on television
and magazines. In order to be thin, they develop a disease called anorexia
nervosa.
Although anorexia and bulimia are related to eating disorders,
anorexia nervosa has more background than bulimia. This essay states what
anorexia nervosa is and for how long the disease has been around in society.

There is more tan one definition of anorexia nervosa; however, all
describe the same problem. Here are some of the definitions:
Anorexia nervosa is an eating problem that occurs when a person is
unrealistically concerned about being overweight and therefore eat as
little as possible. This condition is both a physical illness and a
psychiatric illness. Hormone changes result from the low weight and low
levels of body fat. In young women menstruation stops. Anorexia nervosa
can be very severe illness, including a risk of death from starvation
(Encarta Encyclopedia, Internet).
Anorexia nervosa is a disorder in which preoccupation with dieting
and thinness leads to excessive weight loss. The individual may not
acknowledge that weight loss or restricted eating is a problem
(www.anorexia.com, Internet).
The American Anorexia Nervosa Association defines anorexia as a
"serious illness of deliberate self-starvation with profound psychiatric
and physical components."
Now that we know what anorexia means, lets narrate how this disease
came to be noticeable. We have the knowledge that anorexia nervosa is
affecting a greater number of individuals. Although it was discovered not
so long ago, anorexia nervosa has been around for quite a while.
According to Neuman, there is evidence of the presence of an identical
condition that proceeds from ancient times, long before the diagnosis was
defined. Later, in the Middle Ages, goodness was equated with thinness.
The acceptance of thinness was a view that angels were so good and pure
that they must be very thin. Everyone talked about how thin these angels
were, and how they could gather around in a persons head. This issue
developed a so-called miracle maidens.
In the middle ages and later, there were miracle maidens who
purported to live on air, were fed by the fairies when nobody was there, or
toyed occasionally with such delicacies as the juice of a roasted raisin.
People traveled for miles to see these living wonders. Most were frauds…
.but a few may well have had anorexia nervosa, a disorder which at that
time was not recognized (Daily et al, 5).
There is another case of the disorder that occurred in 1599 when a
girl in France had a minor illness. After three or more years of
recovering from the disease, she was not convinced to eat. Although she
was self-starving, she would be active but cold and underfed. She became
the "French Fasting Girl of Confolens."
After a century passed by, the first medical definition of the
disorder was given by Richard Morton. Followed by the study of anorexia
nervosa of Alexander Lucas of the Mayo Clinic who discovered the
"descriptive era."
The descriptive era, being the first of five eras, tells us about
anorexia nervosa and the way some doctors used to think of it. After the
doctors heard about this disease they made up their own opinion about
anorexia, which are described by the next four eras. Beginning with the
descriptive era which was defined in 1689 in England as a condition of
"nervous consumption," deliberate self-starvation caused by "an ill and
morbid state of the spirits." Morton describes the case of a 17-year-old
girl that Lucas recounts in 1981. She fell into a total suppression of
her mind and her appetite began to fade away and her digestion to be bad.
She felt that she needed to study harder and to her that was an excuse to
skip meals. Although she was thin (could see her bones) she could not stop
dieting. The girl did not want to be treated and died. In 1870 Sir
William Gull from England and Professor Lesegue from France who worked
independently brought up the term "anorexia hysterica" in English and
"anorexie hysterique" in French. But it was Gull who eventually created
"anorexia nervosa." At the end of the century the disorder, which was
usually found in the middle and upper classes, was rare but recognized.
The following era is the pituitary era defined in 1914. Doctors
were sure that the disease was originated from some pathology of the organs
and cells. Nevertheless many cases were inexplicable from this point of
view until Simmond described the pituitary cachexia. Simmond discovered a
disease found in the pituitary gland of an underfed woman that developed