Explain specific health psychology issues Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes an Individual to change their eating habits and their behaviour. There are several types of eating disorders that can effect an Individual physically, psychologically and socially. The two eating disorders which I will be discussing Is anorexia and bullmla. Anorexia is an eating disorder and a mental health condition which can be life- threatening.
Anorexia is an irrational fear of gaining weight, it typically involves excessive weight loss and usually occurs more in females than in males. There are our clinical characteristics of individuals with anorexia which are- An individual behavioural symptoms who is anorexic will avoid food, compulsively weigh, engage in activities to keep their weight down for example excessive exercise, make themself sick, take laxities and burn calories. An individual’s cognitive symptoms will be that they think they are 20% bigger than what they are, this Is called body distortion.
An individual’s emotional symptoms will be that they will feel anxious and they will keep checking their weight on the scales and be fearful of putting on weight, also they will feel nervous, scared and have fear of fatness. An Individual’s physical symptoms would be they would have amenorrhea, they will be emaciated, low blood pressure, general health diseases and they will have loss of body weight. Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder and a mental health condition.
Individuals who have bulimia try and control their weight by restricting the amount of food they eat, they binge eat and purge the food from their body by making themselves sick or use laxatives. There are five clinical characteristics of individuals who are bulimia nervosa- 1. Binge – This Is when an individual has an excessive amount of calories consumed In such a short period of time. On average an Individual consumes between 1,500 – 3000 calories a day but an Individual who binge eats will eat triple the average calories. . Purge – This Is when an Individual gets rid of their food by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives and excessive exercise. 3. Frequency – An individual with Bulimia Nervosa will binge and purge twice a week for three months until they can be diagnosed with it. 4. Body image – An individual’s body image is going to look average but see themselves as bigger inappropriate with it. 5. Different from anorexia – Weight and periods as normal. I will now go on to explain the sychological expectation of anorexia and bulimia.
The behavioural explanations of bulimia are:- The Social Learning Theory The social learning theory is a process of learning by observing other people. In our society we are surrounded by images of the ‘ideal’ body which is categorised as a size 6-8. Images of the female body in magazines, on TV and In films all emphasise a slim body shape. These Images and people act as models for the women In our society. They are seen to receive lots of reinforcement for being thin – fame, admiration, success and money.
Young girls start being exposed to this from an early age, and ery quickly they learn that being thin brings vicarious reinforcement, so they want to example when celebrities put on weight they are in newspapers and magazines being criticised. Although everyone in the United Kingdom is exposed to role models but not everyone is anorexic. Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning is a process of learning through reward and punishment, if an individual’s gets a reward then they are more likely to repeat it but if an individual get punished then it is unlikely to be repeated.
This is why when individuals go on a diet, they lose weight and other individuals give them attention for example say to hem “there’s good you’re looking” which rewards the individual which then encourages them to carry on this vicious cycle. Although not everyone who loses weight and diets goes anorexic. I will now go on to the psychodynamic approach which was developed by Sigmund Freud. The family systems theory Minuchin believes that individuals who are anorexic tend to come from enmeshed families.
Enmeshed families is families that tend to stick their noses in other people’s business. Children feel they only have control over what they eat. The bad points about this is that it doesn’t explain the fact that there is higher rates of eating isorders now rather than in the 1950’s. Cause or result – does the family actually stick their nose into other peoples business which is seen as a cause as their constantly looking at other people’s lives or do they stick their nose in because the girl is anorexic because of the enmeshed family or is the family enmeshed because the girls anorexic.
Although this can’t explain gender differences or can’t explain the sudden increase in recent years. The influence of sexual development Proposed that the disorder represents on unconscious effort by a girl to remain pre- ubescent as children want to remain child-like and have a fear of sexually maturing. This theory can’t explain anorexia in boys and why there is higher rates of anorexia in these days. The influence for the struggle for Autonomy This theory was proposed by Brunch in 1971, Brunch believes that there are two types of parent’s effective parents and ineffective parents.
According to Brunch he believes that effective parents feed their children when theyre hungry and comfort them when theyre anxious and he believes that ineffective parents may miss-read the cues and they are to blame for the children being anorexic. For example when they child cries to the mother they might feed it, believing it to be hungry and when its cries due to hunger she may comfort it believing it may be anxious. This then confused the child about their own internal statue and their needs. It makes them feel dependent on others.
This theory can’t explain the difference in anorexia to girls to boys and why there’s more anorexia in society these days. The Cognitive Approach This approach focuses on “cognitive biases”. Cognitive biases are tendencies in which individuals think in certain ways, they can lead to systematic deviations for a tandard of rationality or good Judgement. In this instance individuals who are anorexic tend to think they are in fact 20% bigger than what they are. Mckenzie et al body weight, shape and ideals and got them to estimate their own size in relation to other women.
They found- When the women were asked to compare themselves with control who were the same size, ED patients tended to overestimate their own body. When asked to indicate their ideal body shape/weight, ED patients chose a weight/shape significantly lighter/thinner than the control group. The participants were then given a chocolate bar and a soft drink to consume. Following this they were asked to re-estimate their body weight/shape. The ED patients Judged their size has increased, whilst the control group Judged that their size has not changed.
Faitburn et al (1999) identified perfectionism and negative self-image as the greatest risk factors in developing an eating disorder. Girls who normally come from middle class society and want to be perfect at everything they do for example grades, hobby and look perfect. Treatments for eating disorders. Psychotherapy is a type of therapy used to treat emotional problems and mental health conditions. This therapy involves talking to a trained therapist either one-to- one or in a group.
It allows you to look deeper into your problems and worries and helps you to deal with troublesome habits and w die range of mental disorders. Psychotherapy can help you to discuss feeling that you have about yourself and other people. A therapist will treat sessions as confidentiality. A psychotherapy treats many other mental conditions other than eating disorders such as:- Depression Anxiety disorders Obsessive compulsive disorder Long term illnesses Substance misuse Most psychotherapy treatments involves meeting a therapist regularly, either ones a eek or fortnight although it can be more often if needed.
Individuals sessions usually last up to 50/60 minutes but group sessions are longer. There are several different types of psychotherapy that have been proven to be effective and are offered on the NHS such as:- Psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) Psychotherapist This therapy was introduced by Freud and is when a psychoanalytic therapist encourage you to say whatever is going on in your mind. This will help you to become aware of hidden meanings or patterns in what you do or say that may be contributing to your problems.
However, this therapy is not effective because ou’re going to remember things in which you have purposely forgotten, this can then make you rebel. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) This is therapy is a form of psychotherapy that examines how beliefs and thoughts are linked to certain behaviour and feelings. It can teach skills that retrain a person’s behaviour and style of thinking to help them deal with stressful situations. This therapy however is ethical as it is helping you get rid of your problems through the good parts in your life.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy OPT) This therapy looks at the way in which illness can be triggered by events involving elationships with others, such as bereavements, disputes or relocation. It helps people cope with the feelings involves as well as to work out coping strategies. This therapy is very ethical as the therapist is not harming the individual in any way. Humanistic Therapies a non-judgemental, understanding environment between the person and their therapist.
This therapy is effective as it has similarities to counselling and counselling has proven to be very effective. Medical Intervention Some individuals may refuse treatment even though they are severely ill then this therapy becomes compulsory, the individual has no choice but to have this reatment. Doctors may decide to admit the person to hospital for compulsory treatment under the Mental Health Act. This is sometimes known as ‘sectioning or being ‘sectioned’. The treatment involves the individual being force fed. ype of therapy is very ethical as if an individual is about to die then it’s the health professional’s duty of care to save the person from death (class notes). There are two types of eating disorders which involves exercise, compulsive exercise and exercise bulimia. Compulsive exercise is when an individual builds their lives around working out and are generally distressed if they cannot exercise as much as hey feel they need too, an individual can be addictive to exercise in attempt to control or lose weight.
Exercise bulimia is a psychological disorders in which an individual is compelled to exercise in effort go burn calories of food energy and fat reserves to an excessive level that in time effects their health and wellbeing. Exercise bulimia is one big cycle an individual binges then they feel guilty and then they do excessive exercise, it is quite similar to compulsive exercise but it involves eating binges. Individuals exercise for several reasons such as they may want to tone p, lose weight, to stay fit and active and help with their confidence to help them look good.
Although there are both physical and psychological benefits of exercising. The physical benefits of exercise are that:- Exercising can control your weight. Exercise can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease Exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes Exercise can reduce the risk of cancer Exercise can strengthen bones and muscles. The psychological benefits of exercising are:- It can improve an individual’s mood Reduces stress and an improved ability to cope with stressors Improves an individual’s self-esteem Pride in physical accomplishment
Satisfaction with oneself Improves body image Increased feeling of energy However individuals can become obsessed with exercise, they make it apart of their routine, some individuals even chose exercise instead of going to work or spending time with family and friends. Also some individuals who are obsessed with exercise tend to refuse to take any rest days even when their ill, they also continue to exercise even when their injured which can be a serious risk of doing more harm to themselves.
They also experience severe stress and emotional upset and depression if they are unable to exercise and they never exercise for fun. Although the ecommended exercise a week is healthy for everyone there are several health referred to as tiredness and exhaustion. It’s described as a physical and mental state of being tired or weak. Excessive exercise can also cause a temporary decrease in the bodys immune system function. Research has shown that by doing excessive exercise the body produces certain hormones that temporarily lower immunity.
Cortisol and adrenaline which are both known as stress hormones, raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels and suppress the immune system. Also individuals refuse to take rest days when their ill although their immune system is already ighting the infection they are more likely to make things worse and extend their illness. For women who excessive exercise a major associated problem is amenorrhea, amenorrhea is when women stop having monthly menstrual cycles, this can be associated with low body weight.
However there can be some serious long- term health consequences of amenorrhea such as infertility, atrophy of the vagina and breast and osteoporosis which is when the bones become brittle and fragile. Also an increased risk of heart attacks later in life. Excessive exercise can also cause heart problems. Researchers say excessive exercise may permanently damage he heart and can trigger rhythm abnormalities. Also health problems associated is dehydration, dehydration occurs when someone’s body loses too much fluid. This can happen when you stop drinking water or lose large amount of fluid through vomiting, sweating or exercise.
Being dehydrated can be a serious condition, it can cause muscle cramps, feel faint and if an individual is severely dehydrated then there is no longer enough fluid in their body to get blood to their organs which may make them go into shock which is a life-threatening condition. Men and women have a recommended units of alcohol they should drink a day, men hould drink 3 to 4 units and women should drink 2 to 3 units. By regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits can risk damaging your health. Although alcohols hidden harms usually emerge after a number of years and by then a serious health problem may have developed.
Liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of cans and heart attack are all side effects of regularly drinking more than the recommendation. The effects of alcohol on your health will actually depend on how much alcohol you consume, the more you drink the greater the health risks. Drinkers are divided into three risk categories:- 1. Low risk drinkers A low risk drinker is someone how has a low risk of causing themselves any future harm. Individuals who are classed as low risk drinkers have the recommended units a day which is 3 to 4 for men and 2 to 3 for women. 2.
Increasing-risk drinkers This is drinkers who increase the risk of damaging your health. Alcohol affects all parts and systems of the body which can play a role in numerous medical condition. An increased drinker is regularly drinking more than 3 to 4 units if you’re a man and drinking more than 2 to 3 units if you’re a women. If an individual is drinking at round these levels then they are at risk of developing a serious illness which is higher than non-drinkers such as:- Men are 1. 8 to 2. 5 times as likely to get the mouth, neck or throat cancer, and women are 1. 2 to 1. 7 times as likely.
Women are 1. 2 times as likely to get breast cancer. Men are twice as likely to develop liver cirrhosis, and women are 1. 7 times as likely. as likely. Some individual may already have alcohol-related problems such as fatigue, depression, weight gain, poor sleep, high blood pressure and sexual problems. Also problems can occur through being under the influence of alcohol such as negatively an affect their relationships with family and friends. 3. Higher risk drinkers Individuals at this point are at even higher risk of damaging their health compared to the increasing-risk drinkers.
Higher risk drinking is usual more than 8 units a day or 50 units a week for a man and more than 6 units a day or 35 units a week for a women. Now individuals have a much higher risk of developing alcohol-related health problems. Their body has probably suffered some damage already, even if theyre not yet fully aware of it. Compared to non-drinkers, if you regularly drink bove higher-risk levels: You could be 3 to 5 times more likely to get cancer of the mouth, neck and throat. You could be 3 to 10 times more likely to develop liver cirrhosis.
Men could have four times the risk of having high blood pressure, and women are at least twice as likely to develop it. An individual could be twice as likely to have an irregular heartbeat. Women are around 1. 5 times as likely to get breast cancer. Alcohol abuse 1 . A maladaptive pattern of drinking, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least one of the following occurring within a 12-month eriod: Recurrent use of alcohol resulting in a failure to fulfil major role obligations at work, school, or home (e. g. epeated absences or poor work performance related to alcohol use; alcohol-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household) Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e. g. , driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by alcohol use) Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems (e. g. , arrests for alcohol-related disorderly conduct) Continued alcohol use despite having persistent r recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol (e. g. , arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication). . Never met criteria for alcohol dependence. http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/books/NBK44358/ Alcohol Dependency distress, as manifested by three or more of the following occurring at any time in the same 12-month period: Need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect; or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol; or rinking (or using a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms Drinking in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.
Persistent desire or one or more unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drinking Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of drinking A great deal of time spent in activities necessary to obtain, to use, or to recover from the effects of drinking Continued drinking despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to be caused r exacerbated by drinking. 2. No duration criterion separately specified, but several associated with criteria (e. g. , “persistent,” “continued”) (class notes).
Hammersley (1999) attempted to explain psychological explanations of addiction MI Compare two specific health psychology issues in relation to common themes and difference There are many similarities between eating disorders and exercise, the similarities are that both individuals with an eating disorder and who compulsive exercises are both harming their body as they both have weight loss, amenorrhea and have a decline in general health. They can both lead to bad health problems if taken to the extreme such as low blood pressure, health problems, suppression of immune system and amenorrhea.
Both eating disorders and exercise are as a result of the way that the individual thinks about their body, they think that they are 20% than what they actually are and have a picture in their head of what they would like to look like which is most of the time like their role model who has a ‘perfect’ body but also because their role model is getting rewarded for their actions, so the individual who has an eating disorder and compulsory exercises observe and imitate heir role model to be Just like them also both, both of these can then be linked to the social learning theory.
Individuals that have an eating disorder or excessively exercise wouldn’t be satisfied with the end outcome of their body, this is why they carry on binge, purging, exercising, making themselves sick and taking laxatives. Both of them are linked to cognitive approach. Both can be explained through operant condition as their both rewarded for their actions for example with an eating disorder an individual diets, they lose weight, they get attention and they get disorder is never happy with the way they look.
The same happens wit exercise the cycle Just goes round and round. Both eating disord compulsive exercise do these behaviours to keep the weight off which an individual look emaciated if taken to the extreme. Frued’s the Influence of Sexual Development’ suggest that both of the disorder rep unconscious effort by a girl to remain pre-pubescent as children want child-like and have a fear of sexually maturing and when they lose wei periods stop which is called amenorrhea.
It’s believed that this is why want to remain ‘childlike’ by participating in behaviours such as purgin making themselves sick and binging. Both disorders are thriving perfect’ body and they both feel that by doing excessive exercise or ta and making themselves sick they are able to achieve the perfect body, have achieved the ‘perfect’ body neither of them can see so they carry have put themselves at risk. However there are also many differe eating disorders and excessive exercise.
Eating disorders are diagnose health condition and exercise isn’t. Also eating disorders are seen as a although exercising is an individual can be told to exercise as a treatm someone could be at risk of obesity and they need to undergo exercise become fit and healthy again. The family system theory is able to ndividuals who are anorexic come from enmeshed families but can’t e individuals who exercise constantly.
There are certain treatments available for individuals who have eating disorders which can try and overcome the eating disorder such as being force fed, but with compul there are no treatments available and the individual would not be abl their obsession of exercise. Brunch theory ‘The influence for the Autonomy is able to explain an eating disorder but not able to explain exercising.