• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Bulimia Nervosa

Extracts from this document...


EATING DISORDERS: Bulimia Nervosa Name: A.L.B Module: Lifespan Developmental Psychology Module Leader(s): Jeff Edwards / Margaret Ferrario Submission Date: Monday 10th May 2004 Within developmental lifespan psychology, eating disorders are often categorised under the heading of 'adolescence problems' along with suicide, delinquency, substance misuse and pregnancy. They are particularly associated with females, especially during the development stage of adolescence when one's physical, cognitive and social development leaves childhood and enters adulthood (Seifert et al, 1997: 333). It appears that young women are more dissatisfied with weight than women at any other stage of the female lifespan. This is due to an increase in awareness of their body shape and weight, therefore accounting for the large majority of eating disorder cases being adolescent females (90%) (Kayrooz 2001: 20). Problematic eating behaviours are becoming a growing concern as the number of cases increase (especially in the last 20-30 years) and especially as younger age groups are being affected. Bulimia nervosa (bulimia) is the most common eating disorder today. However it was only identified as a disorder in 1979 when a rapid increase in the condition was established (Gross, 2001: 657). Bulimia shall now be studied in relation to psychological aspects, definitions, prevalence, symptoms, complications, treatment and possible causes. "Bulimia is a syndrome characterised by episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviour such as vomiting and purging, along with other techniques to compensate for over eating" (Banyard, 2001: 88). Bulimia affects 1-2.8% of the population, yet it is estimated that 20% of adolescent girls (2.5 million) ...read more.


However the sample does not prove equal in terms of participants. Nevertheless, Bhugra & Bhui (2002) agree, as they too revealed Asians were more likely to indulge in compulsive eating, again providing evidence against the idea that eating disorders are specifically related to Westernised culture. However, all who participated were East London students, making findings difficult to generalise. In addition, validity of these two studies can be questioned, as although Asian, they were living in England and therefore were not entirely free from Westernised society. Streigel-Moore et al (1986) specifically studied bulimia in relation to gender, claiming bulimia is a predominantly female disorder because women rather than men accept and internalise cultural norms. Hayes & Ross (1987) suggest that the traditional housewife role can be used as an explanation for women's disturbed body image and their vulnerability to eating disorders. As for women at home, physical appearance is a more important contribution to self-esteem than for women who work. Therefore this suggests those women who stay at home are more likely to suffer from bulimia. However if this was true then the prevalence of bulimia should be expected to have decreased in society, as more women are now choosing to go to work than ever before. Silverstein et al (1986) also studied gender differences, relating them to the mass media. Their study suggested thinness in society is promoted by the mass media and that popular female characters in TV shows and magazines are more likely than male characters to be exceedingly thin, thus justifying the reason for more women suffering from eating disorders. ...read more.


The aim of treatment for bulimia is to reduce/eliminate binge eating and purging behaviour. Treatments include nutritional therapy, psychotherapy and medication. These three major treatments can be used individually but are often combined to produce the most successful approach, with different treatments working for different sufferers. Establishment of a pattern of non-binge meals, improvement of attitudes, encouragement of healthy levels of exercise, and resolution of other problems such as anxiety and depression are among the specific aims of the three major treatments. The most effective form of treatment tends to be cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy (Wilson, 1999), ranging from a 50%-90% decrease rate in binge-eating behaviour (Alexander-Mott, 1994: 215). CBT usually involves identifying distorted negative thoughts about appearance and body image and helps a sufferer to learn to identify the cues that trigger a bingeing episode. However, antidepressants have been found to be effective at the beginning of treatment and can also be used as an on-going treatment to prevent relapse. However, Wilson (1999) found that the most effective strategy for treating bulimia was to combine CBT with medication, as adding antidepressant drugs to CBT enhances the improvement in co-morbid conditions. However, the specific patient determines the effectiveness of treatment, with success rates for treatment at 50-70%, with relapse rates of between 30-50%. In conclusion, no one specific cause for bulimia has been found, although many factors have been linked to the onset of the disorder. Bulimia can vary in terms of its severity, medical complications and treatment methods, with the disorder predominantly affecting female adolescents, with numbers significantly increasing. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. Equality, diversity and rights

    and beliefs, even thou I do not agree the same as them I still have respect and I respect their opinions and beliefs because like I said before everyone has their own beliefs and stuff. It's very important for me not to treat nobody different from others because they might

  2. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Family Interventions for Psychosis.

    substance abuse, suicide, incest) and running a relatives' group. This approach with single families has been adapted to include multiple families in a group setting. This approach appears to combine the benefits of family work with the experience and advantages of participating in a group, such as mutual support, shared learning and reduced isolation.

  1. Physiological disorder

    arteries called articles, it plays a key role in regulating blood flow into he tissues capillaries. The wall of the artery consist of three layers, the inner layer, the turnip uituma contains simple squalors epithelium, basement membrane and connective tissues.

  2. Unit 4-Human lifespan development

    It may be observed more in premature birth circumstances after the 28th week of gestation. Moro reflexes lasts until the baby is around 5-6 months old. Rooting- This reflex occurs when the baby senses touch on the corner of there mouth or cheek, the baby should retaliate by moving there

  1. Physiological Disorders

    If the patient opens up to social worker, he will be able to deal with the mixed kinds of emotions they are experiencing in everyday life. Also social worker will provide moral support to adjust to lifestyle with his medical condition.

  2. Can CBT make a meaningful contribution in the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and ...

    Their findings are useful for the assessment of CBT, as not all studies have commented on the difference in positive symptoms after treatment. The question of whether CBT was found to be significantly beneficial because of its own merits or merely therapist contact, still remains, a factor which could have confounded the results.

  1. Unit 14 - Physiological disorders Bipolar project

    Bipolar II - characterised by severe depressive episodes alternating with episodes of hypo mania. 1. Cyclothymiacs disorder - short periods of mild depression and short periods of hypo mania. 1. Rapid cycling - four or more episodes a year. These can be manic, hypo manic, depressive or mixed episodes.

  2. Anorexia and Bulimia in Early Adult Females

    So naturally, the average person begins to start thinking that this is ideally how every ?beautiful? woman should look like. Even most women?s magazines will have silly headlines on the front cover right as the summer season rolls in saying things like: ?how to get you best bikini body? or

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work