Alana Gold (2004) maintains that "no one variable causes an eating disorder" (p. 64). Instead, Gold (2004) contends that a combination of environmental factors, sociological factors, and genetics promote the development of such orders. Gold (2004) reviews one study that suggests an overproduction of serotonin in those with anorexia nervosa leads to a constant state of anxiety and starving themselves helps such individuals feel in control, but also maintains that environment - from media images of idealized body types to parental obsession with thinness - also promote eating disorders.
While the majority of individuals who suffer from anorexia nervosa are female, an increasing number of adolescent males are developing the eating disorder. According to Ray (2004), "Commonly perceived to be a female affliction, it is ironic that the first documented clinical case of anorexia was in a male; additionally, males comprise between 10% to 15% of the eating disordered population" (1998). Ray (2004) contends that increasing exploitation of the male body in the media has led to the increase of the eating disorder among males, as well as other factors such as the desire to lose weight to participate in various sports that are weight-sensitive like wrestling. Family trauma, sexual orientation issues, athletics, and genetics are all factors that may lead to the development of anorexia nervosa in males, according to Ray (2004).
There are a number of treatment modalities associated with anorexia nervosa, from prescription drugs aimed at improving mood and stimulating appetite to family, group, and individual counseling. However, many of these treatments have limited outcomes and patient denial often leads to difficulty in motivating patients to change behavior. As such, Sim, et al., (2004) maintain that family therapy is the most effective treatment for anorexia nervosa at the current time. Sim, et al., (2004) argue that this form of cou...
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