Eating disorders: A theoretical perpective in Greece

One of the most important issues that are concerning young population is the issue of eating disorders. Eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and the binge episode of bulimia.

The last years there have been conducted many researches all over the world regarding these incidents and they came to a conclusion that this incidents are expanding to both genres. In Greece, the first research was conducted by a German and Greek group of researchers (Simos, 1999) in 1980 and a more analytical research was conducted by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2000 showed that the most vulnerable group is the girls from 15 to 20. It also showed that girls are the ones that they always care about their weight. Due to the expansion of bullying episodes in school (universities), the percentage of anorexia and bulimia is expanding especially to girls and women.

Anorexia Nervosa is the denial of food in order to upkeep their weight. The fear that they will gain weight is the ‘’reason’’ they do not eat. Frankly, this is not the real reason. The reasons are based on psychological instabilities. Bulimia is the fact that they eat a large number of food. Bulimia is divided in Bulimia Nervosa which has to do with Anorexia Nervosa because it is happening to people who have anorexia nervosa, bulimia which happens to curvy people and binge eating which is happening mostly to people who have anorexia nervosa. The term ‘’bulimia nervosa’’ was launched by Gerarld Russell in 1979 and in 1987 bulimia was regarded as illness officially in USA. In Greece approximately 10.000.000 are having eating disorders according to

The factors that cause eating disorders are derived from psychological issues such as self-confidence, families, the relations with others, egoistic attitudes, the idea of all or nothing and other psychological and behavioral aspects of an individual. During 1959 Playboy models reduced their weight per 10% whereas in the whole country of New York we saw expansion of articles referring to diets in six famous women magazines.

The proliferation of media vehicles, the evolution of technology and the expansion of social media are one of the main reasons for the eating disorders. If we think about cognitive theories, Habermas and public sphere, and the theory of Baudrillard we will come to a conclusion that behavior, psychology and the stimuli can be the reasons or the causes of these type of illnesses. People who have eating disorders are people who have extreme ideological notions and extreme thoughts such as ‘’all or nothing’’ and they are perfectionists (Fairburn, 2006).

Anorexic or bulimic individuals are like alcoholic or drug addicts. Yes, they are addicted to food. Food is like a drug for them. One episode of anorexia can be characterized by this time scheduled incident.

Before the incident: Pressure, stress, bullying, think of food desperately, isolation, broke up etc.
During the incident: Eat literally everything even food from the rubbish.
After the incident: Feeling of guilt, punish themselves, binge eating. This is an extreme situation where the individual has serious psychological problems (Fairburn, 2006).

How to cure these illnesses? There are three types of methods, the personal psychotherapy, the cognitive behavioral therapy, known as diary programs where patients keep diaries of what they eat and how many bulimia incidents they had and systematic treatment of family environment where family are taught how to behave to these people.

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