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Anorexia Nervosa is really not about food at all: A confirmed condition of negativity that is not bound by culture - A cross cultural analysis

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  1. Introduction
  2. Early history: Back to the middle ages
  3. Religion
  4. Diet diseases strike black women
  5. The nineteenth century history
    1. Family role
    2. Lasegue and Gull: Pioneers
    3. Early familial observations
  6. Germany
    1. Freud: Lack of interest?
  7. United States--Late discovery
    1. Cultural syndrome
    2. Food, eating habits, diet: Tied to culture
  8. Cross cultural overview
  9. A world view of eating disorders
    1. Africa: Cultural and racial identity confusions
    2. North America and transcultural findings
    3. France
    4. Middle East
    5. Asia
    6. Pakistan
  10. Other casual theories
    1. Antidepressants as a solution
  11. Other observances
    1. Siblings of patients with eating disorders
  12. Perceptions
  13. Challenging the culture-bound theory
  14. Other formulations
    1. Feminist model
  15. Conclusion
  16. Works cited

Anorexia nervosa/bulimia is really not about food at all. This condition is one that is a manifestation of something much deeper. And we are wrong to view anorexia nervosa/bulimia as a disease. While the thoughts of Mr. DiNicola are common today, the key words to his statement are ?yet remain unproven?. Anorexia nervosa bulimia is a condition of negativity--one that is confirmed. Though the lack of self-esteem often is cited as a condition of this disorder, the manifestation is really all about selflessness. There is no identity, no sense of self; so, we are speaking of a lack of self. So, it is this lack of self that allows anorexia nervosa/bulimia patients to resign, unconsciously, at living. They feel they should not be allowed to live. And, taking food away is the most obvious thing to prevent living. The patient feels life is not important; they hate themselves (and the mere fact that they HATE themselves). It is as though they live through others--the only way they can justify their existence. The void that exists in their life is their inability to make the world perfect for everybody. Often, anorexia nervosa/bulimia patients are misdiagnosed as suffering from depression. The depression is result of the sufferer's inability to master perfection. These eating disordered adapt themselves to situations attempting to sharpen their perfection--since their desire is to copy values externally presented by a given society. Those manifesting the illness are extremely sensitive, uncommonly aware, and worry about everyone. It is as though the patient absorbs all the problems society is filled with.

[...] And all involved must recognize this misunderstood condition is not a disease but the manifestation of something very deep. This condition of confirmed negativity allows the patient to feel selfless. There is no identity. Decisions are difficult. The sensitivity possessed by these eating disordered to the others is incredible. The desire to give of themselves to strive for perfection is overwhelming. And their attempts to sharpen their perfection to copy the external values put forth in their society bring them down. [...]


[...] DiNicola explains a weak thesis: ?culture is an envelope for the emergency of anorexia nervosa . culture is a specific socio-cultural address, container or envelope for the expression of the illness? (245-246). Obviously, the preoccupation with anorexia nervosa in Western culture is overwhelming. Such is its prevalence that Brumberg (1985) remarks that use ?anorectic' much as we have used ?syphilitic', ?epileptic', or ?diabetic' to mark and individual in a particular ( DiNicola 179). Are Eating Disorders Truly Culture-Bound? Yet, so called cases of the eating disorders are found in areas not bound by the cultural theory . [...]


[...] As a religious role model they attempted to put themselves into venues--to sharpen perfection in an attempt to duplicate the external values expected of their society. Thus, Vincenzo F. DiNicola is correct when challenging the current notion of anorexia nervosa as a culture-bound syndrome, saying: ?These predicaments [religious] surely represent vastly different socio-cultural and historical contexts from the young women with anorexia nervosa in twentieth century Western societies? (174). Diet Diseases Strike Black Women So, it is not surprising that the eating disorder predicament, mostly relegated to upper class young white women, is respresented in a vastly different socio-cultural context today --outside of Western society. [...]

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