Mental States & Perfection

Eating Disorders

Pictures Provided by Google Images and Eating Disorders


Power Point Presentation     This presentation looks at anorexia and bulimia nervosa from a psychological viewpoint.  It is extremely important to understand what goes on in one's head infected with these bad habits.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to reach the ideal; however, the ideal and the strive towards that ideal are different for each person.  Anna and I took the serious approach when we presented our topics together.  We included artwork, poetry, and objects that intensified the atmosphere and allowed the students to understand the significance behind our topics.  Please read through the power point presentation for more details.


Ethical Issues

The ethical issues involve individuals using eating disorders as an easy alternative.  For instance, if a pregnant woman wishes to not have the child, an easy way out is to become anorexic or bulimic.  By doing this the child and the mother would not receive the proper nutrients in order to be a healthy individual, leading to extreme suffering.  Also, models and stars are sometimes told to lose or gain weight in order to be in certain movies or to be in a fashion show.  Models, in most cases, need to fit the "ideal" model figure.  This ideal figure includes tall, thin legs, long, flat torso, and slim, gracious arms.  Eating disorders are more than just a disease; they are issues in which are taken lightly most of the time in different natures.


Personal Interest

The reason why I am personally attached to this topic is because one of my best friends was both anorexic and bulimic for a period of time.  I had not known or would have even thought she ever felt this way; however, after being told she was, I was extremely worried and confused.  I thought by researching this topic for this assignment, I could better understand her ways of thinking then and now and what motivated her to do these horrific acts.  After researching this topic, I have grown to be more interested and concerned.  Eating disorders are extremely confusing and dangerous in my viewpoint.  But, the more I learn through my research, the more I can understand her feelings and answers towards the topic.












Controversial Topics

Creating designer babies is a controversial topic associated with eating disorders because parents may want to create children that fit the media's "ideal", skinny and tall.  This would also decrease the risk of their children becoming anorexic and/or bulimic; they would have no reason to desire "perfection" because they would be perfect.  This causes controversy because creating designer babies technically refers to "going against God".  Such groups believe that if God chooses for somebody to suffer from these disorders, there is a reason for it and that parents should not alter a child's "potential" according to God.

Role of Citizens

Citizens should be aware of the media's role in society.  The media causes controversy and updates the world of fashion, trends, and new gadgets.  They use famous, beautiful faces on their covers to attract the public to read what their real purpose is, to inform.  The models used to attract the attention of the public is not to make their readers/viewers feel ugly and disgusting about themselves, but merely to attract their attention to read the important updates.  Also, the government should begin to educate the public with the new food pyramid, and the citizens should begin to pay more attention to what the government and society are trying to do to better our environment's views on perfection.


Scientific Issues

As a bulimic, one purges stomach acid along with the food contents they wish to remove.  This acid eventually burns holes in the esophagus causing stomach problems and death in some cases.  Since more acid is removed, the pH level in the blood increase (less acidic, more basic).  This potentially causes the patient to suffer from alkalosis. For anorexics, there is a severe depletion of sodium ions in the blood causing the pH levels to decrease too.  "Low serum concentrations of sodium ions affect blood transport on nutrients" (  Both of these eating disorders cause severe dehydration, kidney problems, and heart failure.  More Information












Impact on Society

Since there is no regulation against eating disorders, if there were guidelines, the public would react the same way as towards the drinking age law.  People who are active in the disorder would still continue to purge or starve themselves much like underage drinkers still drink alcohol.  I believe that there would be more patients getting help, and more people would notice those who are suffering.  I feel that there would also be more help available for those who need it or are "sent" by their loved ones.  The disorders would be common to the public, and I also feel that more institutes would publicize the seriousness of the disorders, so individuals could receive help.







Eating disorders relate to Tryptophan because both attempt attempt to reach The Ideal in their own nature.  By eating more tryptophan in your diet, more serotonin can be released to make you feel "good".  Low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin cause depression, irritability, and anxiousness in eating disorder patients' psyche.  Tryptophan can help those suffering from anorexia and/or bulimia.  This process would allow individuals to feel great about themselves and hopefully change the direction of their path towards The Ideal.  Both of these topics strive for the individual to be happy for once, and one can help the other to reach that goal.

More Information




Connection with The Ideal

This topic relates to the course theme tremendously. Individuals always strive to reach their perfection by using any method; eating disorders are an extreme method. Those who do choose eating disorders as their path towards perfection can be described as "obsessed" with perfection. They never view themselves as perfect; they will never reach their perfection much like nobody ever will. However, the continuation with the extreme path shows the psychological deficiencies a person may have. Other alternatives do exist such as plastic surgery, make-up, and/or physical fitness. The strive always exists, the path is often different, extreme or not.  Not only do we ask how far does science go, but how far do we go to reach our ideal state?





A recent case study was performed on an eighteen year old girl suffering from anorexia nervosa.  They wanted to relate her situation to hyperactivity "using an experience sampling method over the course of a week" (Psychiatry Source).  She was ordered to report her feelings, desires and pleasures nine times a day, randomly.  The report proved that "the patient's tendency to be hyperactive was (a) positively related to her weight preoccupation and her negative emotions, and (b) negatively related to her positive emotions and the absence of depression. In this patient, obsessions and compulsions were not related to hyperactivity" (Psychiatry Source).

More Information


Human Condition

There are absolutely no potential benefits to the human condition due to eating disorders.  The challenges that relate to eating disorders include lives being shortened and ruined by many things.  Depression easily accumulates throughout the whole process of having an eating disorder.  Also, one's life is always threatened.  Either an individual is starving from nutrients, love, and/or support.  Patients tend to detach themselves from family and friends because of their emotions running through them.  An overall concern for their mental and physical health is a challenge the human population suffers daily.  There is only so much we can do to help, and sometimes that is not even enough.  So the human population should do anything to help, because it all matters.



Last Thought

Finally, I wanted to mention the seriousness behind both anorexia, bulimia, and any other eating disorder in the world today.  This topic is a very popular method for individuals to "perfect" themselves; a never ending goal for most citizens.  Personally, I feel there are other, less harmful, methods people can use to perfect themselves.  So, be careful, and be in tuned to those around you who may choose this alternative.  Help out in any way; also, the sites below can help you navigate where to go next.  Thank you.

National Eating Disorders
















Self-Mutilation    Eating Disorders    Sexuality    Emotions    Suffering


"This site was created for an honors course at Monmouth College by students."