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Anorexia...a true mental disorder?

Discussion in 'Perspectives' started by Kira Yamato, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    Okay, I've had this discussion with friends before, but in my opinion Anorexia is a disease that should be treated and not something that can just be wished or willed away. Anorexia is hardwired and studies have shown that it there is a genetic component involved, and that certain people are more susceptible to the disease than others.

    The sterotype of a anorexics being White previleged young adolescent girls is nothing more than a myth. It affects people of all races, ethnicities and and even genders.

    So, the real point is do we still have this image of anorexia as some disease of privelege/convience or has this disease finnally recognized for what it is..a serious diease that should be treated as one?
     
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  2. Khyper You bastard

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    Nope. That whole anoerexia being caused by stress or trauma is true. For the past 3 days after a certain incident, I haven't been able to eat more than a few bites everyday of random food. Stomach just doesn't take it. And I'm not a girl, or because I'm fat (which I really am not).
     
  3. Mousowi Member

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    I was always aware of the fact that anorexia crossed borders such as ethnicity and gender, but this is the first I've heard of it having a genetic factor I find it very interesting. But, yeah I've always considered it a mental illness, like depression etc.

    I think a lot of people believe it only had to do body image when a lot of it is about control instead. I believe it's body dysmorphic disorder that specifically has to do with body image of which anorexia is a subcategory but not exclusive to.
     
  4. rimpelcut You know it, I know it.

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    It can be because of genes, but then it would be called another disorder and they wouldn't eat as long as they life because of that.
     
  5. Haruka modkop

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    Anorexia Nervosa. A disease that affects the nervous system. I'm guessing it can't be a mental disorder because it would have to deal with the brain, like Trisome 21.
     
  6. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    Anorexia has no real genetic background... there are some people somewhat predisposed to it, but it is purely a cultural problem. It only appears in cultures that have adopted Western ideals (slimmer is better!).
    It is purely a psychological disorder, and although it sometimes has physical symptoms, that is typical of major psychological problems.
    It is treated, as with many psychological disorders, with psychotherapy or psychoactive medications. It is a mental disease that is treatable but must be treated. It is extremely difficult to get over anorexia alone... about equal to trying to get over obsessive-compulsive disorder without help.

    It appears in all genders, but mostly women. All ages, but mostly young. But it only appears in cultures with the western ideal of the slender body. Therefore, it cannot possibly be genetic; it is caused by environmental factors and can be exaggerated by genetics.

    Note that it stems mainly from societal pressure but is also affected by stress or trauma, which exaggerate the problem or can turn a minor eating problem into anorexia.
     
  7. martryn Dick in hand

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    People who suffer from anorexia are pansies. I hate weak-willed people, and thats all it is.
     
  8. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    except you forget that High blood pressure has a genetic component, however but is more prevalent in devloped countries, why? Because there are environmental factors that trigger's an individual's susceptibilty to developing heart disease. Case and point, Indians (from India :p) on average have lower levels of heart disease than Americans, however when they come here there chance increase to a level higher than Natural-born americans. It's because there bodies for most of their lives have been exposed to a diet that is mostly vegetarian in nature. And there bodies can not adjust to the sudden influx of red meat...

    For example, Schizophrenia can be diagnosed as a psychological diesease but it does have a genetic factor, in which certain polymorphisms are associated with increased susceptibility to the disorder, while there is a environmental component as seen in many twin studies, genetics stay plays an important and crucial role. All it takes is a "loaded gun"--> environmental/cultural factor set off the disorder/disease.
     
  9. Key #1

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    Anorexia is caused by the person itself which (s)he choose. If you just eat up alot it'll be fine
     
  10. Heldensheld Chunnin

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    Yeah....but I reckon sport and healthy diet is the deal.
     
  11. Sakura Active Member

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    i sorta think itz a mental disorder. becuz it affects the nervous system on how it thinks about 'food.' food is the ultimate enemy!!!! anorexia is one of the worst eating disorders ever; not eating is gross
     
  12. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    You're a moron.

    Out.
     
  13. mao Fishsticks!

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    Actually, most of the anorexic people I've met have been incredibly strong-willed
    people. It takes a lot to just quit eating and still keep going, both mentally and physically.

    A person very close to me was pretty close to death due to anorexia about a year ago. In her case, her need to be absolutely perfect in everything, because that's what everyone was waiting from such an intelligent girl, was what caused the problem.

    Anorexia isn't about being weak. It's about not wanting to be weak.
     
  14. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    Sarcasm detector broken?
     
  15. neko-sennin AKA shadesmaclean

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    Even if there *are* genetic components, a disease/disorder of this nature still requires an environmental "trigger" to strike. There are probably people whose personalities and experiences make them more vulnerable to it in every culture, but I'd be willing to bet that without the triggers, instances of anorexia are much fewer and farther between in places where body image is not as hyped as in Western culture.

    There are many forces and factors in the human mind that once aided our hutner-gatherer ancestors in their survival, and most of them have been turned inward against us in this artificial construct we call modern society.

     
  16. mao Fishsticks!

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    When we're talking about such serious matter, yes.
     
  17. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    exactly my point. I have stressed in my previous posts that there are trigger factors that are responsible for "turning on the switch" for those susceptible individuals. Nothing is ever purely genetic or environmental, but involves a combination of both...

    Well, there are certain instances (sex-linked diseases (hemophilia, color blindness) or autosomal diseases (Huntington's Disease)
     
  18. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    Actually, they are NONEXISTANT. In parts of the world that haven't adopted Western culture, there have been zero documented cases of anorexia nervosa.
     
  19. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    Which might further strengthen the fact that environmental triggers play a crucial role and initiating the disease.
     
  20. rimpelcut You know it, I know it.

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    anorexia is psychological. If genes triggered anorexia type behaviour it would be called different. anorexia patients are ill-willed because that is what caused the problem in the first place.
     
  21. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    No. Where did you get that?
    Western influence = social pressure to be thin.
    Lack of Western influence = no social pressure to be thin.

    What environmental effect does Western influence have? None. It has social/psychological effects.
     
  22. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    No one grows up in a vaccuum, everything has an effect on an individuals growth and development, the "western influence" as you refer to is still considered an environmental factor, because let's face it, if family structure (ideals and beliefs) can be considered an environmental trigger, it would be safe to assume that western influence would be considered into the same category. And why are the two mutually exclusive? They aren't in many studies, so why are they now?
     
  23. Toby <b>Detective Dollars</b>

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    I couldn't agree more, only the impact of culture can bring out such a mental reaction upon one's own image.

    It is the world around you that conditions our view upon basic values of being thin, fat, obese and skinny. Yes, there are more values of physical being, but let the point be made in this discussion that a genetical disease will be inherited with a certain degrading factor. Should anorexia be considered a genetical disease one should at least present a plausible documented statistic of whom in a particular family has inherited the disease and under which circumstances.

    Although there has been research done regarding this genetical disease-theory, it is by far more accepted that it is cultural, also note that the genetic theory has little explanation as to how the blood pressure is related to the diet of those affected by anorexia.

    So call me a hypocrite if you want, but it is by far more plausible to consider it a cultural effect.
     
  24. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    There have been studies that have shown a postive correlation between anorexia and depression and the increased likelihood of aquiring the eating disorder. Not to mention that genetically related family members having an increased statistical risk, yet they do not live with with each other (i.e. child was adopted, or did not live with related parent/family member who has the disorder) :huh



    I don't quite remember linking blood pressure and anorexia, just merely providing an example. If it appears I was trying to make some kind of wierd connection, gomen :S
     
  25. rimpelcut You know it, I know it.

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    But there are people with only culteral triggered anorexia. So this family genetic "anorexia" should be called something else.
     
  26. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    It isn't very prudent to seperate it...it's just the prevailing notion that anorexia is nothing but a cultural disorder. So it's natural to have that opinion, it is only recently that the idea of anorexia of being genetically linked disorder has been brought to light. So, studies delving into this area is still relatively new, and it will take sometime to change the pereception of this disorder. So, in a way I can see how the idea of anorexia being a western culture "only" disorder appears to be the only singular truth, but through the scientific method, strives have been made to debunk this notion and improve the treatment for this this disorder. The implications are also very crucial for identifying those pre-dispose for aqcuiring the disease. I think one aspect of western culture that I find disconcerning is the focus on treatment when prevention should play a bigger role. Oh well, I guess we just have to wait for a different administration :xp
     
  27. rimpelcut You know it, I know it.

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    you see people go in therapy to get anorexia away. Anorexia is defined as a wrong picture of the body and a obsession to become thin. Even though hormones can make one unstable in feelings it is still the psychology that makes one disgusted with eating. If it where because of genes then that could be measured by a increase of substainces in the body that makes you loose your appetite. They know what substainces do that. From what I have read here the reason that this theory of genes was thought up was that there were statistics of people of the same genes that got the disorder. Have they done any kind of other research?
     
  28. Kira Yamato Genei Ryodan Retired Staff

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    They have done research involving genetic linkage on chromosome 1 for the complex psychiatric disorder (anorexia). Linkage refers to the greater-than-chance likelihood that two separate DNA sequences will be close to one another on the same chromosome, supplying biological evidence for a genetic trait if seen among two or more family members.

    With genetics, it isn't so simple, so, to say this gene per say is a speicifc cause for a disease or disorder (that isn't autosomal or x-linked) would be irresponsible at best. But there are genetic traits observed with those who have anorexia, somewhat like how people observe schizophrenia, unless you're saying that is cultural disease as well :huh

    And popular belief about schizophrenia use to blame the parents for the development, until evidence pointed otherwise. Like anything it involves investigating the disease throughly and not just dismissing it as a cultural problem or something to be laid on parents like schizophrenia used to be...


    Not neccessarily, like I mentioned before if it were so simple, there gene therapy would be much more successful if then was a way to successfully able to address the issue. *still waits for gene therapy for hemophilia* =/
     
  29. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    Are you talking about environment vs. heredity?

    That would explain the confusion. I thought you were talking about physical environment vs. psychological.
     
  30. Stealth Tomato It has big taste.

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    As far as genetics go, there are genes that increase risk, but there are none that even come close to completely explaining the occurrence of anorexia.
     
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