My project will address the issue of how middle schoolers and high schoolers are uninformed in school of the vulnerability that they have to mental illnesses, specifically, anorexia nervosa. In this course, the vulnerability that adolescents have to mental disorders was briefly discussed but I want to delve into this topic more deeply. Additionally, we talked in detail about disorders such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders (like anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating disorder) and I want to create a link between young adults and these illnesses.
Personally, I’ve had a pretty bad experience with eating disorders. I got out of it by myself with lots of difficulties and I really wish I had known about the dangers of starving yourself before high school. Had I been educated about my vulnerability to anorexia as a middle schooler or an early high schooler, the situation could have been avoided entirely because I would have known not to succumb to my critical thoughts about myself. This is important to me because I know what it is like to suffer from an eating disorder and I know how horrible it is to have your mind be occupied 24/7 with corrupting thoughts, I don’t want anyone to have to suffer from the same problem.
Eating disorders are a growing problem around the world, particularly in western countries. Currently, 8 million people in the United States alone are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders are particularly deadly because they are both mental and physical illnesses; they affect both, cognition, and physiology. Although no age group is immune to eating disorders, these illnesses are particularly common in adolescents for a reason: teenagers and young adults have genetic and social vulnerabilities to them. Biologically speaking, between the ages of roughly 12 and 18, people are genetically engineered in such a way that they are more likely to suffer from eating disorders. Additionally, it is this age group that tends to be most exposed to the media and therefore, it is not difficult to attain unrealistic body standards. The problem of eating disorders has reached the extent where without treatment, 20% of all serious eating disorder patients die. This is an exponentially growing issue and must be addressed immediately.
It’s time for YOU to step in. Join hands with me and help make a change. How does one person make a change? By spreading ideas. Spread ideas, awareness and watch the world change. Do your part.
To do my part, I will put up posters around my school to raise awareness about eating disorders. I will give a talk about these illnesses in HL and SL Psychology classes in my school as well.