Bulimia Essay, Research Paper


Many young women have developed abnormal eating-related behavior. The growing preoccupation with slimness has caused girls and young women to feel overweight or fat, even if they are of normal weight. Many young women have developed abnormal eating-related behaviors. Now, slimness, which is seen as synonymous with self-discipline and control, is the desired goal. Mitchell (1990) said that young women are expected to be attractive and domestic in traditional feminine roles, also to be independent and to seek vocational parity with men (p. 5 and 6). There is much evidence to suggest that there is a cultural preoccupation with thinness in our society.

Women with bulimia, purge with vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics and sometimes giving themselves enemas. Some vomit even after a normal meal, heading for the bathroom after the last bite. Occasionally the vomiting becomes involuntary, and they can not keep themselves from purging after eating. They may exercise compulsively to burn off what they ve eaten. Mitchell (1990) said that bulimic women doubt about their femininity and have poor relationships, conflict with their parents, social impairment, low self-esteem, and a sense of personal ineffectiveness (p. 29). Bulimia can cause gastrointestinal problems during adolescence from pressures including the social emphasis on slimness.

For the last 25 years, the American population has embraced an extremely thin ideal for women. Harrar, Konner and Loecher (1996) said that according to one study, women s magazines have included ten times as many ads and articles promoting weight loss as men s magazines (p. 53). Another factor in the feminization of disordered eating is the difference in what little girls and boys learn as they re socialized. Men are not taught that the way their bodies look is important to the same degree women are.

Among adult women, the culture s fascination with youth may also figure into eating disorders. According with Harrar et al (1996) like it or not, thinness is equated with youth, and women who try to lose weight by purging or starving or going on the restrictive diets that can precipitate binges may do so out of fear of getting old (p.54). Bulimic patients experience social isolation because they must isolate themselves to binge.

An eating disorder can begin innocently. A woman loses a few pounds dieting and then she gets hooked to the point of starvation. She may feel a sense of control that keeps her from feeling chaos. Also, it keeps her mind off other problems that seem unsolvable. Some women feel helplessly stuck in a situation that they can not change. They would rather sacrifice themselves than confront the people or the situation that make her unhappy. Food offers a form of comfort or a false sense of control.

An Encarta Encyclopedia article titled Bulimia said that the treatment of this illness may include group and behavioral therapies and antidepressant drugs. The bulimic treatment can last for a long period of time.

According with Mitchell (1990) the requirements for the treatment are:

1) The patient must have some motivation to change the bulimic behavior

2) The patient must have the necessary time and energy to devote the therapy

3) There can not be more depression

With enforcement, during the treatment, a bulimic patient can be cure (p. 40).

The bulimic behavior is a consequence of our society s behavior. A bulimic woman s ideal is to get thinner to be liked and accepted by society. A bulimic person spends almost five years to be cured following a therapy and learning to like himself or herself the way that they are. I think that society destroyed the image of women, by making us like objects. In my opinion, people should be liked for what they are not for how they look. Through the time our bodies suffer many changes, yet what is inside will never die.


Mitchell, J.E. (1990). Bulimia Nervosa. University of Minnesota Press

Harrar, S., Loecher, B., & Konner, L. (1996). Food and you. Rodale Press, Inc.

An Encarta Encyclopedia Article Titled Bulimia .

http:// encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?z=1&pg=2&ti=05B7C000


Topic: Bulimia

Narrowed topic: Psychological factor

I. Introduction

- cultural preoccupation

- slimness

Thesis Statement: There is much evidence to suggest that there is a cultural preoccupation with thinness in our society.

II. Definition

- Symptoms

- Factors

- Treatment

III. Conclusion

- Advise

- Summary

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