Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Term Paper

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They also tended to have mothers who were concerned about their own weight, and who chronically dieted to control their own weight. Many young women with eating disorders also exhibit lower self-esteem and anxiety. Families may actually contribute to the disorder by admiring the sufferers' thinness and ability to exercise "control" over their eating habits.

Bulimics also have several common characteristics. They tend to be from the same social group as anorexics, and they tend to come from families with a history of weight problems or concerns. In fact, many bulimia patients have mothers with more body mass, and this factor is inheritable, so bulimia, or the physical aspect of it, can run in families. In addition, family members often remember bulimia patients being heavier or larger in late childhood and into adolescence. A history of teasing also tends to be common in these patients (Smolak, Levine, and Striegel-Moore 287). In addition, many bulimics also suffer from "sexual promiscuity, suicide attempts, drug abuse, and stealing or shoplifting"

Polivy and Herman).
Both diseases clearly suffer from commonalities, but how the patients deal with their weight is very different, and it is clear that some familial characteristics are present in both diseases. For example, reports and studies indicate "eating-disordered families to be enmeshed, intrusive, hostile, and negating of the patient's emotional needs or overly concerned with parenting (Polivy and Herman).

In conclusion, while these diseases are certainly different, they both have commonalities, and families can have a lot to do with the disease, both genetically and psychologically. These diseases are also very dangerous, and can cause illness and even death in young women who suffer from them.


Polivy, Janet, and C. Peter Herman. "Causes of Eating Disorders." Annual Review of Psychology (2002): 187+.

Smolak, Linda, Michael P. Levine, and Ruth Striegel-Moore, eds. The Developmental Psychopathology of Eating Disorders Implications for Research, Prevention, and Treatment.….....

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