Eating Disorders

Need help with my writing homework on Eating Disorders Journal of Behavior Research and Therapy. Write a 750 word paper answering; As the name suggests, the article is based on the aspiration of females to achieve the “Thin Ideal” figure and the physical and psychological impact which this aspiration has on them. The article basically seeks to explain why the incidence of depression is higher in women than in men and hypothesizes that the reason behind these depression statistics is that body dissatisfaction is more prevalent in women than in men. McCarthy further explains that before reaching puberty depression is two times as much in males than in females, however post-puberty the roles are reversed and to support her argument that this body dissatisfaction is a potential cause of depression in women, McCarthy quotes trends proven by previous researches which state that 95% of the patients suffering from eating disorders are females and that eating disorders emerge at puberty (McCarthy , 205). The writer clarifies that two important causes as to why body dissatisfaction leads to depression are that women feel that if they do not possess the ideal body then they do not appear to be attractive to their partners, which severely affects their self-esteem. Moreover, when women resort to dieting and fail to lose weight they undergo learned helplessness which further results in depression (McCarthy , 206). Girls place a lot more emphasis on their appearances than men and the social acceptance factor matters a lot more to girls than boys which is why severe episodes of depression are experienced before falling prey to eating disorders. The most common eating disorders as stated by the article are Anorexia and Bulimia (McCarthy , 207). A prior research stated a correlation between puberty and depression in girls and the highlighted cause was that post puberty girls’ bodies are supposed to gain more weight and they become more aware of their body shape and thus just at the moment when they want to lose weight, they tend to gain it which results in depression as also the fact that women tend to perceive their body weight as greater or lesser than it actually is and it is these exaggerated perceptions that add to their depression (McCarthy , 208 – 209). Towards the end of the article, it suggests that women in the western society are more prone to depression caused due to body weight due to which they suffer from many eating disorders and that a shift in portraying thin women as having the ideal bodies and replacing them with heavier models might result in lesser eating disorders in women and reduced depression as well (McCarthy , 210 – 212). The article is well-written with the use of simple language to make it more reader friendly. It highlights a very important aspect of psychological disorders which gets overlooked. However, some of the assertions made in the article would have been more effective if causal evidence was provided through empirical findings. Therefore, as also pointed out by the author a limitation of the data used in the article is that it quotes priori co-relational research findings but fails to provide causal evidence. Understanding of the Issue I have seen an old school friend suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and it is because she was so dear to me that I have developed a profound interest in the topic. My friend was perfectly good looking and it was when she gained a little weight and people started commenting on it that she became obsessively attached to the idea of losing weight. We all used to joke about it in the beginning but as time elapsed we realized that she was not on some ordinary diet rather it felt like she had developed an aversion for food. I saw her grow stick thin in front of my eyes and eventually be admitted in the hospital due to weakness.

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