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Someday I’ll Make a Movie That Will Change Lives

October 2, 2012

McCall Cannon

Professor Johnson

Eng 101


“I know how this feels: the tightening of the chest, the panic, the what-have-I-done-wait-I-was-kidding. Eating disorders linger so long undetected, eroding the body in silence, and then they strike. The secret is out. You’re dying” (Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia). Bulimia Nervosa is a serious eating disorder that can wreak havoc on the body and is too common in today’s world. It takes girls, young and old, from their families, but one family has decided to fight back and inform the world about how deadly Bulimia can be.

This family is the Avrin family. They lost a wonderful daughter to this disorder and Judy Avrin decided that she would fulfill her daughter’s dream of making a film that made a difference in people’s lives. Today this family has helped create a web page and movie in honor of their daughter that is dedicated to helping people with bulimia.

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder. This disorder affects mostly women and is categorized by bingeing and purging. Bingeing is when bulimics eat excessive amounts of food in a short period of time. “People with bulimia eat huge quantities of food, sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time.” (Health A-Z) Most of the time these are comfort foods; such as ice cream, candy, or food with high calories. Purging is when they get rid of that food by either vomiting, using laxatives, fasting, or extreme exercising. Most bulimics start bingeing and purging in their teens or early twenties. Most bulimics know that their eating habits are not normal, but they feel out of control. They are unable to control how much they eat and when they stop. All of these extreme measures are to control weight, although most bulimics are of normal weight or only slightly overweight.

The symptoms of this disease can be hard to detect. The symptoms are bingeing and purging, extreme concern about weight, irregular menstrual periods, and depression. (Jennifer Lamb) Other physical symptoms are swollen cheeks or glands, dental problems, heartburn and swelling of the stomach. There are many small dangers involved with bulimia, and in some cases there can even be potentially fatal health consequences. (Tish Davidson) Bingeing and purging are what cause most of the damage. “In rare cases bingeing can cause the stomach to break open.” (Bulimia nervosa sick! Diseases and disorders) Purging deprives the body of necessary nutrients, such as potassium, which can cause heart failure. Vomiting is also a problem because it brings up strong stomach acid, which can burn the digestive tract, the mouth, and the lips. Bulimia is not just a mental disease; it can cause major health issues too.
The diagnosis of bulimia can be difficult. People with bulimia normally hide their disorder and are in a normal weight range. They purge in private or leave the water running in the bathroom to prevent others from finding out. The first step to a diagnosis is to get a full body exam to check for the outward signs of bulimia. Next, the doctor can take blood tests that will show if purging has caused you to be dehydrated or depleted of electrolytes or other significant nutrients. Then, the doctor can perform a psychological test to determine if any other disorders are present. Finally, to truly be diagnosed with bulimia, a person has to have several eating binges at least twice a week for three months. (Harvard Children’s Health). The diagnoses is never clear-cut though and there is no test that can tell for sure if someone is bulimic, there are multiple things that have to be considered.

Bulimia is a complex disorder that has many different causes. There are social, psychological, hereditary, and biological factors involved. (Bulimia nervosa mai tran). There are studies that show heredity can be a factor in having bulimia. This factor is very small, but having a family member that had bulimia, such as a mother or sister, does increase a person’s chance of having bulimia. In addition, if there is a family history of depression, alcoholism, or obesity, it can heighten the chances of developing the disorder. (Relay Clinical Education) Another factor in developing bulimia is biological makeup. There has been evidence that low serotonin levels in the brain can contribute to bulimia because serotonin helps the brain know when a person is full and needs to stop eating. Neurotransmitter problems can also cause depression, which is linked with bulimia. Psychological factors can also affect if a person develops bulimia. Research has shown that certain personality types are more susceptible to bulimia. Bulimics tend to have poor impulse control and get involved in risky things. They often have low self-esteem and need the approval of others to feel good about themselves. Most feel ashamed after bingeing and purging and swear they will quit, until the next time they have the impulse to binge and purge. Social factors are also a big contributor to bulimia. The families of bulimics normally have a lot of conflict and disorder. There is often something stressful that triggers the need to start bingeing and purging, it could be a family member teasing about weight, how a person eats, comparing them to someone thin; or a life event like moving, starting a new school, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. The media is also a major problem because it projects it’s ideals that you have to be thin to be beautiful and successful and that fat people are ugly and failures in life.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that plagues many young women and men in the United States. It’s symptoms are sometimes hard to detect making it even more of a danger, but there are people who are trying to raise awareness of this deadly disorder. The Avrin family is just one example of this. If just one person is helped by the Avrin’s efforts, then their hard work will not be in vain.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. kirbygroome permalink
    October 8, 2012 8:25 am

    I remember in health class discussing Bulimia nervosa, and the side effects, but never truly understood all of the serious dangers that are related to the disease. The title is a catchy one, and reels in readers to choose to read the blog. I enjoyed reading the blog and learning even more about this sickening disease. I did not realize that symptoms from this disease involved dental problems, and heartburn. The blog was overall very informative, and goes to great measures to allow the reader to understand the severity of this disease.

  2. October 8, 2012 8:41 am

    First off, I loved how your title did not automatically tell me your blog was about bulimia, because it made me interested in what your paper was actually about. Your writing was very informative and gave many facts and statistics. I liked the fact that you didn’t make this paper about your personal opinion, but about the topic of bulimia as a whole. You supported your paper throughout with different sources that gave very good research information. This topic is also very interesting to me due to the fact that I have dealt with a friend with bulimia, and I enjoy the fact that this is something I could show her in order to persuade her in another direction other than bingeing and purging.

  3. Katie Hubbard permalink
    October 8, 2012 5:32 pm

    The title of this blog really grabbed my attention. I thought it was very creative and it made me want to read more. The pictures used in the blog were very accurate and truthful. The information was very clear and complete and taught me a lot about Bulimia nervosa. I think a lot of people could learn something from this!

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