Eating Disorders

Psychological Inquiries


Inquiry No1

Introduction to the Problem

In the age when terrorism threats shake the underpinnings of American democracy and tear apart its fabric of society, the issue of maintaining sound borders is as pressing as ever. However, it is not all about terrorism and its far-reaching ramifications. Historically, borders have been one of the greatest sources of anxiety for the Washington government. Being designed to safeguard the countrys sovereignty, borders are in fact a veritable hive of potentially disruptive activities. Due to the fact that the US beacons immigrants from all over the world, its frontiers merit special attention. There is a wealth of researches into Americas border troubles. This inquiry highlights the salient points from the two articles, namely The Economists Americas Border Troubles, North and South (2005) and The New York Times A Vale of Terror (2014).

Citing an unimpeachable statistical source, The Economist (2005) argues that roughly 46% of Mexicans would move to the US if they had a chance. Indeed, America has always been a magnet for illegal immigrants from Latin America. They adamantly believe that this country is still the land of unfathomable opportunities. They are further encouraged by the fact that many American industries rely on cheap Mexican labor. The problem is that illegal immigrants oftentimes indulge in criminal activities, contributing thus to the spread of organized crime in the US. Subsequently, the US takes vigorous measures to staunch the hemorrhage of the Mexican population to the North. Similarly, the countrys relations with Canada have been testy of late as well (Americas Border Troubles, 2005). The problem here is that too few people cross the boundary. Even though the three countries concluded a comprehensive agreement in 1994, Americas neighbors have sufficient grounds to accuse its government of the arrogance of power.

Analysis of Event in Light of Psychological Concepts/Theories

A barrage of alarmist commentaries on the part of the successive White House administrations concerning the border issues has apparently erected a psychic wall along the countrys boundaries in general and the Mexico-Unites States border in particular. An acclaimed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was unwavering in his belief that psychological progression would be impossible without regression (Storr, 1996). Projecting his findings onto the American border issues, one may deduce that the US needs to regress before it can reevaluate the situation and take a less myopic approach to it. Furthermore, notwithstanding the fact that defense mechanisms employed by the US Customs and Border Patrol appear to be advanced and sophisticated, they are primitive from the psychological perspective. Judging by the highest standards, they represent mere forms of repression and disassociation. Moreover, these mechanisms indicate the existence of a self-recognition crisis in the American political establishment.

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A notorious French psychoanalyst Lacan asserted that the primary function of language was to evoke rather than to inform (cited in Lee, 1991, p. 77). According to Gutierrez (1995), Those who opposed large-scale undocumented entry of Mexican immigrants into the country tended to use derogatory terms, such as wetbacks, fence jumpers, illegal aliens to describe unsanctioned entrants (p. 254). It is not a rarity that even stronger expletives explode from the lips of some Americans, figuratively speaking. The use of coarse invectives in respect of Latin American immigrants evokes the sense of the other in them. Considering that even legal immigrants are referred to slightingly as aliens, their sense of self-respect suffers. As long as American people remain oblivious to their historical legacy, border issues will continue to impact their consciousness. As Jung wittily put it, The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort (cited in Aziz, 2007, p. 79).


Aziz, R. (2007). The syndetic paradigm: The untrodden path beyond Freud and Jung.

Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Gutierrez, D. G. (1995). Walls and mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican immigrants, and

the politics of ethnicity. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Lee, J. S. (1991). Jacques Lacan. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Storr, A. (1996). The essential Jung. Alcoa, TN: Fine Communications.

Americas border troubles, north and south. (2005, August 25). The Economist. Retrieved


Inquiry No2

Introduction to the Problem

Time and time again, countries hostile to the United States teased it mercilessly about the high incidence of obesity and other forms of rotundity in its populace. Indeed, unhealthy weight has always been the source of frustration for many American people. For the sake of fairness, it would be logical to say that obesity is a problem in many other countries around the world. One way or the other, recent research indicates that other eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, cause as much anxiety and are as dangerous. According to Parker-Pope (2011), more than 10 million American citizens suffered from these conditions in 2011. This inquiry sums up the most important aspects of anorexia, as described in, Randy Epsteins When Eating Disorders Strike in Midlife (2009), Tara Parker-Popes An Older Generation Falls Prey to Eating Disorders (2011), and Abby Ellins In Fighting Anorexia, Recovery Is Elusive and Narrowing an Eating Disorder (2010).

According to the accepted definition, anorexia nervosa is a psychological condition, when a person significantly limits the intake of food, balks at keeping normal body weight, and fears to put up weight despite the evident signs of emaciation. It is a matter of conventional wisdom that the condition is the most prevalent in white-skinned adolescent girls and in those over the age of 20. However, a phalanx of researchers notes that women between 40 and 50 years of age also tend to succumb to this treacherous condition. Similarly, there is a higher incidence of anorexia among American women of African and Latin American extraction than there was a decade ago. There is also another tendency: children less than 10 years of age and male adolescents fall prey to anorexia more often than they used to. The overwhelming majority of experts are unanimous in their belief that anorexia has a whole range of both physical and psychological implications, which are as dangerous as those associated with obesity.

Analysis of Event in Light of Psychological Concepts/Theories

There is a paucity of research into anorexia nervosa as well as other similar eating disorders in people belonging to the non-traditional for these disorders groups, such as men, minorities, little children, and chronologically gifted women. Anorexia has a pervasive, hitherto-overlooked psychological antecedent. Nevertheless, psychologists concur that the constant pressure of the social environment is one of the main culprits behind the development of anorexia (Fairburn, 2008). Indeed, distorted notions of human pulchritude multiplied by excessive zeal are inimical to the proper development of a human organism. This is a laymans explanation for the nettlesome problem of anorexia. At the same time, it is likely that Jean Piaget, the kingpin of the cognitive theory of human development, would give a similar explanation to the causes of anorexias development. Even though cognitive theory appears to be the most suitable in explaining the cause of anorexia nervosa, some scientists, such as Hilde Bruch, also applied the psychodynamic theory to explicate his basic assumptions about this dangerous eating disorder. He maintained that all people suffering from anorexia were programmed to develop this condition in their childhood (Jarvis, 2004).

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