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Linking Eating Disorders With Genetics Essay

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While Bulimia is known by many names, the term “bulimia” did not enter the English language until the 1970s, “perhaps representing lingering uncertainty about its essence” (Gordon, 2000). Bulimia, as we know it, is a modern disease, however, there is some evidence of binging and purging in ancient times; for example, in ancient Egypt, “physicians would recommend periodical purgation as a health practice” (Gordon, 2000). There has also been documentation of wealthy families in the middle ages vomiting during meals in order to continue eating large amounts of food. At this point, you may be wondering why these examples are not considered Bulimia Nervosa. According to Dr. Richard Allan Gordon, author of Eating Disorders: Anatomy of a Social Epidemic, these examples “show little evidence of a preoccupation with thinness and are unlikely examples of the modern eating disorder. In fact, the existence of Bulimia Nervosa as a distinct disorder prior to the twentieth century is highly unlikely...and even within the twentieth century, it did not emerge with full force until the 1970s”. In the beginning of the twentieth century, Bulimia Nervosa was viewed as a symptom of “emotional deprivation and poor social adaptation”, it wasn’t until the 1970s that psychology would see Bulimia Nervosa emerge in epidemic proportions (Anred, 2008), and with it came controversy of epidemic proportions, including how to define and treat the disease. As of today, the DSM 5 defines Bulimia Nervosa as “frequent episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate behavior such as self-induced vomiting to avoid weight gain”, hence the term “binging and purging”.
As far as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is concerned, Binge Eating Disorder was not ful...


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...er, P. J. L. T. (2004). The Aetiology of Eating Disorders. (Vol. 185, pp. 363-65). The British Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved from http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/185/5/363.short
Grice, D. E., Halmi, K. A., Fichter, M. M., Strober, M., Woodside, D. B., & Treasure, J. T. (2002). Evidence for a Susceptibility Gene for Anorexia Nervosa on Chromosome 1. American Journal of Human Genetics, 73(3), 787-792. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC384957/
Lutter, M., C, H., Moore, J., Ashimi, S., Mason, B., Drawbridge, J., Han, S., Hing, B., & Matthews, A. (2013). Eating Disorder Predisposition is Associated with ESSRA and HDAC4 Mutations. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 123(11), 4706-4713.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.



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