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The 21st century gave birth to a well-known ideal of female beauty, young and undernourished. Observing so many skinny models in the media, women make every effort to imitate them as thinness is associated now with beauty and prestige. Furthermore, society encourages women’s efforts dedicated to weight loss. What is more, women in the United States sacrifice their health not thinking of the possible consequences of their decisions. However, the serious consequences reveal themselves soon. The devastating effects of eating disorders are shown in the documentary “Thin.” There, the viewers may see the treatment of women with eating disorders in the Renfrew Center in Florida. Thanks to this film, I learned several important lessons about eating disorders.
The first thing I learned from the video is that eating disorders are inseparable from low self-esteem. The majority of girls who come to Renfrew Center do not like themselves, especially their body. Furthermore, they relate their appearance to their success in life. One may deduce it by the fact that part of the patients of the facility attempted suicide before or after hospitalization. Unfortunately, I have not seen any doctors’ attempts to improve the self-esteem of their patients. The video shows psychological sessions that are more concentrated on sharing feelings than dealing with the self-esteem issue. To my mind, self-perception should be the starting point of the entire recovery process.
The second thing I learned from this video is that eating disorders are addictions. Those who have bulimia and anorexia keep on purging even when they know it may cause harm. Their destructive habits continue despite health problem awareness. They keep on purging and cannot stop. These girls reveal withdrawal symptoms as they have bad temper, a feeling of being depressed, anger, frustration and resentment. Those with eating disorders would like to avoid feeding and they are obsessed with their appearance.
Each experience of food intake is painful to them as it puts their beauty under the imaginary threat. Apart from that, this addiction relates to secrecy and solitude as the girls keep purging in secret. Besides, many women with eating disorders deny they have a problem. They believe their undernourishment is normal and they are afraid of gaining weight as they perceive it as not normal.
The third thing that I learned from the video is that eating disorders are almost incurable. I watched this video very attentively but I noticed that none of the patients of Renfrew facility fully recovered. Part of them returned for treatment and part of them continue to struggle with purging and weight loss. It means that the roots of this disease are deep inside of the person.
To conclude, eating disorders are a serious problem nowadays. They come unnoticeably starting as food limitations and dieting, but they develop into the lingering psychological illness. It appears that this illness is rooted in human consciousness and relates to low self-esteem. What is more, eating disorders operate as addictions and are often incurable. As soon as women get better, they return to their addictive behavior and cannot do anything about it. Therefore, eating disorders constitute a serious problem to both psychologists and their patients.