Pica Research Paper

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Understanding Pica Eating disorders are serious, life-threating mental illnesses that are on the rise in society today. Obsession with one’s physical appearance, emotionally problems, or sole desire to eat can contribute to an eating disorder. There are serious consequences that come with the disorders that can be very harmful to an individual with an eating disorder, and often even fatal. Most commonly talked about eating disorders include, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating. Pica is another disorder that is on the rise today with very little comprehension on exactly what is it, who it targets, or how it is treated. The severity of pica is understated being that most people are too embarrassed to admit to eating such unacceptable…show more content…
Pica was first described by Galen in the 2nd century; the term ‘pica’ referring to the Latin word for magpie, a bird thought to have odd feeding habits (Rose, 2016, p. 354.) There is very little consistency in information for defining pica, classifying substances ingested, or identifying characteristics of patients. The DSM classifies the following characteristics of pica: persistent eating of non-nutritive substances for a period of at least one month, the eating of non-nutritive substances inappropriate to the developmental level of the individual, eating behavior is not part of a culturally supported or socially normative practice. (Rose, 2016, p.353) Commonly ingestion items are ice, clay and/or soil, lead paint chips, hair, feces, and…show more content…
Since pica usually develops earlier in development, it is important to feed your children a well-balance diet and to assure children are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is also essential to pay attention to detail as to what children are around and/or exposed to. To avoid being victim to this disorder, when pregnant, make sure to schedule necessary doctor’s visit and to choose recommended foods that nourish mother and the baby. If one is already diagnosed with this disorder it is imperative that you seek medical attention and care due to the many negative risk factors associated with the disorder. The first step a treatment would be to correct any physical abnormalities such a anemia, or obstruction. Seeing a psychiatrist may help to identify what stressors could have contributed to the disorder and what one might be able to change in lifestyle or substitute the inclination inn exchange for. A good support system is also key in recovery. Having family members and friends in times of temptation is great and an award to look forward to when on the right
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