Bulimia Nervosa

The research conducted by J. M. Mond et al (2006) on the Mental Health Literacy and Eating Disordered Behavior conducted on adolescent girls was a true eye opener on the field of Bulimia Nervosa.  The research was conducted in 2005 with an aim of understanding and possibly finding a source of primary care and assistance to offer care to victims of this medical disorder. One key methodology adopted by the researchers was the examination of the mental health literacy of teenage girls, who are regarded as the most vulnerable to this disorder.  The study was very much a characteristic case in the field of medicine, with an astute insight in to the psych of the victims that experience this disorder. It is consistent to the facts already existing but also discriminatory in covering the adolescent age allow without venturing in to their adult lives.

Bulimia nervosa is a form of eating disorder that is generally exemplified by consuming a huge amount of food in a short amount of time and often followed by an attempt by the victim to rid himself/herself of the food consumed, usually by vomiting or taking laxatives. Victims often times seek help from medical psychiatrists, or shrinks as they are popularly known, but this a tradition that is slowly being cropped out in favor of more personal methods of intervention as the results of the study shows.  However, the expertise of these specialists should not be so quickly disregarded; these specialists bring more to the table than what someone at home could possibly offer. Of course family and friends provide that sense of security and familiarity that gives love and strength to an individual, but specialist have a wealth of experience and knowledge that would be much more effective in understanding the deep root of the victims’ problem, as opposed to consoling them and telling them “everything will be okay.” Self help groups are okay as secondary support systems for these teenagers, but specialists should be included in the recovery process as the principle support.

My sentiments are shared by Garner and Garfinkel (1997) who report that psychological treatment were far from effective decades ago, but scientific intervention in the field over the years have proved to be a valuable intervention influence in the long term development of the victims.  Their studies have proven the specific clinical effectiveness of psychological treatment in bulimia nervosa.   

According to a study conducted by the Cochrane collaboration on Antidepressants versus psychological treatments, the study’s conclusion showed that the most effective technique for dealing with bulimia nervosa is a combination of the two which registered far more superior results than single psychotherapy techniques. Although psychotherapy appeared to be more acceptable to test subjects, they showed better results when supplemented with medication as well.

The bulimia nervosa case study also resulted in findings that most of the adolescents with this eating disorder have no idea of the situation they are in, most times until it is too late. The case study found that in a population of 36 subjects, 6.9% of them had no clue of their problem. Even though this number is low, this result is worrying especially after considering the fact that this is a life threatening illness that would have severely consequences on the physical and social lifestyle of adolescent girls.

One conclusion of the study that I do agree with completely is that the prevention programs for Bulimia Nervosa should expand and include not only the at-risk individuals, but also include the individuals in their immediate social surroundings. The social environment plays perhaps the most significant role in contributing to a teenagers mind set about something and anything. It is a widely known fact that they are always swayed by diminutive things or situations and as a result end up making ill choices. If somehow this environmental factors and persons are included in the programs, this would have far reaching effects in the recovery of the individuals.

Eating is an important part in the development of any human being, especially at teenage hood stage of ones life, and it is understandable the extreme concern from friends, families and professionals due to the potentially life- threatening nature of this situation. The case study aims at establishing what the most successful ways of intervening in a Bulimia Nervosa circumstances are. The use of specialists in such situations is the best bet for these victims, with the help of self help groups, but in a secondary capacity. I believe this will give the adolescent girls the best chance in minimizing the negative impact of Bulimia Nervosa.

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