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The Causes For Eating Disorders And The Impact Of The Media On Self-Image - Essay Example

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The causes for eating disorders and the Impact of the media on self-image Introduction People, especially the youth and women, are becoming more preoccupied with their shape and their levels of body dissatisfaction have risen…
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The Causes For Eating Disorders And The Impact Of The Media On Self-Image
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The Causes For Eating Disorders And The Impact Of The Media On Self-Image

This paper discusses causes for eating disorders and the impact of the media on the self-image. Causes of eating disorders Poppink defined eating disorder as abnormal eating habits, which may occur in form of starvation or excessive eating acts and identifies anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating as examples of common eating disorders (17). Causes of eating disorder can be grouped into psychological, interpersonal, and social factors. Psychologically, eating disorder may occur because of mental and emotional imbalance. Psychological factors include, lack of self-esteem, feeling of lack of purpose in life and occurrence of anxiety, anger or stress. Psychological factors, though inherent to the patients, can be professionally addressed through patient counseling. In addition, Poppink states that individuals could manage anxiety and anger without seeking professional services where individuals could relax, and avoid incidences that might trigger anger (104). Interpersonal factors could also result to eating disorders. According to NEDA (1), interpersonal factors may occur through physical and sexual abuse, strained personal relationships, and having history of being ridiculed or teased about ones weight or size. Having relationships and interacting with parties is the genesis of developing interpersonal factors that lead to eating disorders. Avoidance of negative crowd and withdrawal from strained relationships could prevent the occurrence of eating disorder. However, those who have suffered from sexual abuse may further require professional counseling and guidance. Spettigue and Henderson further identify social factors as the leading cause of eating disorders. With the advent of information technology, mass media have created a social context of ideal women through the biased exposures of thin women in their programs and magazines. The society has also framed a narrow definition of beauty where slender women and masculine men are being considered beautiful and handsome. Poppink further notes the existence of such biased concept and social mind frames in the society may generate peer pressure among individuals who are overweight hence leading to eating disorder (145) Causes of eating disorders offers basis for treatment and recovery. The disorders may be treated in three different approaches, which include the use of psychotherapy, medicines, and nutritional supplements. Spettigue and Henderson stated that the cause of the eating disorder determines the approach of the treatment. Counseling and administration of medicines may be used to treat eating disorder that could have resulted from physical and sexual abuse. It is fundamental that the administered treatment addresses the root cause of the eating disorder and resulting symptoms of the condition concerning psychological, interpersonal and social factors (NEDA). After undergoing successful treatment, an individual is able to recover from an eating disorder. Full recovery is always dependent on the nature of treatment and care offered to a patient. Recovery is a long-term process, which may last for years. It is vital that one should carefully follow the instructions of the therapist and the outlined recommendations for this stage (NEDA). The role of the media The media has a mandate of informing the public. It, as an informative tool, has contributed to the flourishing of eating disorder in the society. Overweight women, for example, have been subjected to social pressure by the media, which has framed social context of beauty. The media has portrayed celebrities, actors, and models with slender bodies, resulting to a biased definition of bea ... Read More
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