Individual Differences

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					 Year 12 Homework Booklet                       Individual Differences

By the end of this homework you will be able to:
   1. Describe some of the clinical characteristics of Bulimia
   2. Describe both physiological and psychological explanations of 2 eating
   3. Describe the role of the hypothalamus
   4. Assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the four definitions of
Women follow Diana down road to bulimia By SUSAN EMMETT
The number of women suffering from bulimia, the bingeing disorder, tripled in five years and
substantially overtook the figure for those suffering from anorexia, according to a new report
which calls for greater understanding of eating problems from GPs.

A joint study by the Institute of Psychiatry in London and Boston University, covering a period
from 1988-1993, reveals a jump from 15 out of women suffering from bulimia at the start to
more than 50 per at the end. The figure for anorexia remained steady at just under 20 per
100,000. Dr Janet Treasure, head of the Eating Disorders Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry,
said that the rise in reported numbers suffering from the illness which afflicted the Princess of
Wales and which affects nearly 50 times more women than men, could reflect the increasing
number seeking help. But she said an earlier American study provided evidence that actual
numbers of women suffering from bulimia had been increasing for decades. She said: 'It's to
do with the culture of thinness and weight-watching. It's also a way people now find of
expressing distress. Whereas a hundred years ago people might have developed hysterical
reactions, they now try to take charge. It's part of the work-ethic society that people feel they
need to solve all their problems themselves and they develop bulimia as a way of dealing with
them.' Anorexia, however, is thought to be related to genetics rather than purely cultural
factors. That would help explain why the number of women suffering from the disorder has
remained largely steady although it was first diagnosed in 1873.

Anorexia is mostly found in girls aged between 10 and 19. The study shows they are the
largest risk group, with GPs detecting a rate of 34 per Bulimia mainly affects women aged
between 20 and 39 - GPs identified cases per 100,000. But the rate for the 10-19 age group
is also high, atper 100,000. The Princess of Wales, in an emotional revelation about her own
struggle to conquer the eating disorders she believes were rooted in her childhood, spoke in
1993 of how sufferers were driven to 'dissolve and disappear' as a way of coping with
unbearable situations. She said: 'I have it on very good authority that the quest for perfection
our society demands can leave the individual gasping for breath. This pressure inevitably
extends to the way we look.' Sufferers, by focusing their energies on controlling their bodies,
found a refuge from having to face the more painful issues at the centre of their lives,she went
on. 'It was a way of coping, albeit destructively and pointlessly, with a situation they were
finding unbearable.'

Diana's confession, at an international conference about children with eating disorders,
helped to raise bulimia's profile. But experts say that there is still a need for a greater
understanding of it and the new report calls for more effective management of the disorder by
GPs, as the majority of cases of eating disorders are referred to hospitals and clinics. The
Association of Eating Disorders agreed that many GPs had little knowledge of - or sympathy
for the sufferers from - bulimia, which was only diagnosed as recently as 1979. 'Many people
who call us say their GPs have failed to understand what they are going through,' a
spokeswoman said. 'They don't know what to do after that.' Part of the problem was that
bulimia - characterised by bingeing and purging'- was difficult to detect, as sufferers did not
usually lose weight like anorexics. She added that there was still not enough help available to
the increasing numbers of sufferers and that the association was inundated with callers.

 In what way is bulimia linked to hysteria?

 What do you think the phrases ‘dissolve and disappear’ mean?

   Why is bulimia more difficult to treat and diagnose than anorexia
Definition:                           Symptoms:

Physiological explanations            Psychological explanations

       Genetic/NeurologicalTheories     Psychological
Definition:                          Symptoms:

      Genetic/NeurologicalTheories     Psychological
 Physiological explanations          Psychological Explanations
                       Individual differences

                   Compile an A4 guide to the role of the
                   hypothalamus in human behaviour. Include
                   diagrams and/or images.
                   You don’t have to restrict yourself to eating
                   disorders material.

The Hypothalamus

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                                                                          Individual differences

Evaluation Chart Defining Abnormality
Briefly outline an overall argument

    Statistical infrequency             Deviation from social norms     Deviation from ideal mental    Failure to function adequately

Strengths                             Strengths                       Strengths                       Strengths

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                                 Individual differences

Weaknesses      Weaknesses   Weaknesses                   Weaknesses



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