The Mental Health Of Women And Girls In The Legal System Sample College Essay


While women frequently associate with criminal justice systems as victims of crime, current developments show that an increasing number of them appear as suspects, accused, and inmates. Women’s jail populations are expanding faster than male prison populations worldwide. While the worldwide jail population has increased, also has the number of imprisoned women, especially considering Gender shapes social relationships in dimensions that typically disfavor girls and women in various legal systems around the globe. Social norms towards Gender, attitudes, preconceptions, and prejudices, in particular, frequently impact women’s and girls’ first and recurring encounters with judicial authorities, in addition to their susceptibility and exploitation in legal contexts when the African American community is concerned.

According to Richie (2012), they influence how various women and girls perceive justice procedures and interventions, along with racial, socioeconomic, sexual, and other systemic disparities; they also define the specific consequences of their contact with legal and psychological healthcare personnel. In the United States, effective imprisonment rates have resulted in significant rises in the number of women serving incarceration sentences. According to Oser et al. (2016), African American women face a dramatic rise, with estimates of 115 per 100,000 population contrasted with 49 for White women and 64 for Hispanic women. Imprisoned African American women are classified as a “marginalized population” by Aday since they have a significantly increased risk of mental ill health than the entire populace due to unequal susceptibility to risk variables (Carson & Statistician, 2018).

The mental Health of Women and Girls in the Legal System

Over the last several years, the upsurge in prison populations has predominantly impacted low-income African American communities, creating further hurdles to work, accommodation, and income equality, potentially jeopardizing women’s health and well-being (Richie, 2012). According to research, African American girls, women, and non-binary persons are most susceptible to violence (Sankofa, 2019). Women who come into touch with the justice system are frequently taken from their homes and families, leading to distress in relatives and those imprisoned (Malcome et al., 2019). While institutionalized, vulnerability to violent and stressful situations generally escalates, potentially exacerbating stress and other mental health issues such as depressive symptomology (Kaeble et al., 2018). The preponderance of contemporary imprisonment and jail prisoners have a severe depressive illness, which is more common than any other mental health problem. In the previous month, more detention than prison convicts has been at or over the benchmark for significant psychological hardship, with imprisoned women being the plurality of those with mental stress.

Notwithstanding their disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system, African American women’s mental health at the delicate nexus of race, sexuality, and community-based institutional oversight has received little attention. Based on the socioeconomic challenges girls and women confront, this paper views the criminal justice connection as a social inequity detrimental to African American girls’ mental health. This research looks into the links between recent stresses, the judicial system, and Gender.

First, African America Women and girls’ contact with the legal system has unique necessities than males since they are more likely to be victims of maltreatment and have parental responsibilities (Kaeble et al., 2018). According to Simkins & Katz (2002), no single dominating mechanism drives women into the criminal justice system. Instead, their experiences influence their unlawful conduct in myriad aspects. Significant characteristics in studies on women’s criminal paths include abuse or trauma, hardship and discrimination, mental health issues, drug misuse, and toxic relationships. The paths to delinquency for young females are frequently distinct from those for boys (TUKEsays,2018). At-risk girls are significantly more inclined than boys to have a history of sexual violence and other stressful situations, to have suicidal ideation, to feel persistent unhappiness/mental illness, to abuse drugs and alcohol, and flee their homes.

According to studies, there is a resonance frequency of intimate partner violence against women in nations with high standards of gender equality, like the United States, a phenomenon known as the “Nordic paradox” (MacKinnon, 2007). The confluence of Gender and race identity generates hurdles that keep many women from reporting domestic violence charges. Domestic abuse culprits may foster a sense of apprehension in their victims by accentuating the significance of cultural norms and reminding them regularly that retribution, particularly antipathy from the criminal justice system, is harsher for African American women. Persons’ devotion to cultural norms and beliefs impedes obtaining legal and social assistance. Limitations may arise, for instance, from a worry that filing a lawsuit would support ingrained prejudices or from a general disdain for the courts and police (Peyush & Marvel-Burns, 2021). Women are frequently harmed due to the judicial system’s safeguards, being compelled to relive terrible experiences in hostile environments. African American women, for instance, may be apprehensive about getting associated with a system of criminal justice that has contributed to the perpetuation of prejudice and has struggled to safeguard black communities. Domestic violence victims who react to their perpetrator in retaliation to protracted and intense abuse suffer federal indictment for domestic abuse or murder. If they collaborate in criminal activity with their abusive spouse, they may also get involved in legal prosecutions as codefendants. Violence and trauma make it more likely that they may erroneously embrace guilt for a crime they were not involved in out of fear of reprisals or to conceal the offender.

Bruce (2018) states that those Women victims who commit crimes under the manipulative power of an abused husband become entangled in a “passionate codefendant” relationship that exposes them to both personal and legal penalties because they are “dually surveilled” by the perpetrator and law enforcement personnel (Peyush & Marvel-Burns, 2021). Their limited availability of financial resources and reliance on the offender are essential determinants in their continuous engagement in illegal activities such as drug crimes and prostitution. Most of the time, the victim’s abusive spouse exposes her to substances. It delivers her with stimulants that could nourish and preserve her addictive behavior and reliance on the abusive partner before forcing her into prostitution to sustain the drug consumption.

Bearing in mind the domestic violence, the disparity in the family court system has inflicted African American women years of distress and suffering; the framework of the custody cases has permitted them to become victims (Datchi & Ancis,2017). Once seized, the devastation escalates. The reactions of women to violence and abuse are frequently misconstrued and misrepresented. Notwithstanding the preceding results, the inclination to downplay abuse inside the judicial system encourages and facilitates the ex-spouse’s control and power methods (Bruce, 2018). Because of the specific personal attributes of violent and aggressive former spouses and partners and the implications of abusive behavior on women, the perpetrator is commonly portrayed as calm, collected, rational, logical, and credible. At the same time, the victim is deemed unfathomable, volatile, and overly dramatic (TJADEN & THOENNES, 2000). Distressing symptoms endured and embodied as a chronic stressor may be considered as substantiation by public defenders (– for example, judges, attorneys) that women are volatile and ineffective parents, culminating in custody being granted to abusive partners who are proficient at depicting themselves as righteous and, paradoxically, as victims. Likewise, disparaging methods usually feed into judges’ underlying gender prejudices (Watson Insight, 2020).

The emotional and mental consequences of custody cases, especially with an aggressive spouse, are significant (Bruce, 2018). Women’s psychosocial encounters scrutiny after and during separation custody battles leads to various psychological responses, including emotional emasculation. Despair, hopelessness, losing control, anger, and continual worry are all prevalent sentiments. Enhanced caution is also prevalent. It entails the feeling that one’s life is being scrutinized (Anthony-North & Shanahan, 2018). Women victims are always extremely cautious in their conduct, remarks, and contacts with others, notably their kids. This attitude remains prevalent among women who have experienced adultery and violence. According to Richie (2012), women frequently believe that individuals in positions of power hold them to a higher moral ideal. Advocates usually stress cleanliness in their actions, supported by their interactions with custody assessors and mental and courtroom encounters. The mental anguish of conceivably forfeiting custody of one’s kids frequently leaves women questioning themselves and in a world of permanent anxiousness. Self-blame is common, especially when dealing with a mechanism that refuses to acknowledge, doubts if the abuse occurred, and disregards the psychosocial relevance of such abusive behavior (Richie, 2012). The ones who lose guardianship experience emotional trauma.

Another contributory aspect is sex trafficking, which relates to sexual activities involving aggression, deception, kidnapping, manipulation, and compulsion. Whether an adult agrees to engage in a commercialized sexual practice, there is no actual autonomous consent if the decision is prompted by coercion, fraudulently, or compulsion. Sexual trafficking victims experience horrible mental and behavioral consequences. For instance, trafficked women and girls may find themselves in legal jeopardy if they are implicated in offenses that are: (1) specifically linked to their trafficking circumstances; (2) classified as offenses against public decency (— for example, prostitution); or (3) in violation of restrictions on immigration. 6 Destitution, involuntary migration, and actual or perceived gender identity and sexual orientation are different causes that put women into a confrontation with the legal system (Richie, 2012). Women and girls subjected to sex trafficking are treated as perpetrators instead of victims when they contact the criminal justice system, a disparity that compounds their pre-existing mental trauma.

According to Price and Sokoloff (2004), African American women and girls are more susceptible than white women and girls to be criminally prosecuted and jailed in a juvenile correctional institution when sex trafficking issues clash with the justice system. Furthermore, those who commit violence against them are less likely to be caught and sentenced, and if they are, they frequently serve less time than those who abuse white and socially privileged women and girls (Ellis, 2016). Women from African American communities may have a more challenging time disclosing criminal actions to them because of their individual and collective encounters with prejudice, racism, and stereotype (Rosenfield & Mouzon, 2012). Since racism and class discrimination are constructed on the worldview that individuals who are racially and fiscally disadvantaged are morally reprehensible, dishonest, and therefore less meriting of safety, judicial experts who advocate class and racial preconceptions are more inclined to perceive African American sex trafficking victims as lawbreakers (S and Clemens Bartollas, 2014). Victims of sex trafficking and imprisoned women frequently face persistent and different kinds of trauma across their lives, called complex trauma. It is a recurring trauma that occurs over time and within specific interactions. Family abuse, attachment trauma, facing death, suffering rape, human trafficking, exploitation, and child molestation are all included.

The juvenile justice system has become a “domain of social abandonment” or even a venue where vulnerable groups, such as African American girls, are further downtrodden. It is because the juvenile court can significantly boost the potential danger of girls to distress in a variety of ways. The juvenile justice system often criminalizes girls who are survivors of severe maltreatment (Nowacki, 2013). These young African American girls frequently act out in manners that result in detention. There appears to be a substantial correlation between their neglect and abuse and the absence of necessary interventions or assistance (Richie, 2012). The actions leading to the incarceration of these girls are also linked to that context. Courts concentrate on their violent behavior than the trauma experienced and how it may be linked to the offense. Since the juvenile court system lacks comprehension of why girls utilize force, it fails to respond to such young women/ girls satisfactorily, negatively affecting their mental state.

The fact is that there are numerous failures in the juvenile system, such as racial and Gender points of view, which have resulted in numerous hurdles (Bruce, 2018). These obstacles make it difficult for the juvenile justice system to achieve its original goal of rehabilitation, resulting in juveniles who are not rehabilitated but instead have the instruments to get to be adult perpetrators (“THE CAUSES of JUVENILE DELINQUENCY in DETENTION FACILITIES,” 2017). When adolescents are separated from their families and committed to a correctional facility, their conduct does not improve; instead, it worsens. Juveniles in correctional camps must become more violent than the next juvenile to survive. Rather than becoming more valuable citizens, the juvenile acquires new nefarious talents.

Consequently, the “tormented” individual is further isolated from broader social assistance by removing them from the external society and their social networks. The institution may be constructed on a culture of authority, regularity, and control, which may demand reinforcement for norm compliance and an overdependence on restrictions and medicine (Silvera, 2015). Lack of funding for state and city-run institutions may result in neglect and abuse for the customer. Elite narratives that propagate the notion that autonomous persons are entirely accountable for their fate tend to disguise structural inequities in dimensions that intensify the sensation of social desertion at a macro scale.

According to Bruce (2018), drug treatment tribunals (DTC), as a solution to the issue of substance abuse, emphasize an additional contribution of African American women and girls’ experiences with the legal system, Gender, and mental health. The drug treatment court system blends psychology and criminal justice techniques into a hybrid approach to manage mental health concerns and recidivism hazards; yet, the success of DTC seems equivocal as women recognize the importance of agency and freedom in their recovery and advancement in the DTC (Kendall, 2010). Women experience double discrimination since their drug misuse and criminal activity violate the law and gender standards (National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 2019). The fact that women are naturally more vulnerable to drugs than males is underscored as the relationship between trauma, and dependence is critical to comprehending this susceptibility (Arfken & Yen, 2014). Since African American women have the minimum scores of retention in treatment for substance abuse and thus are three times more inclined to serve prison time for drug crimes, their specific cultural misgivings merit additional regard and provide a chance to emphasize the crossroads of class, race, and Gender as it corresponds to addictive behavior and crime. Sexism and racism impose chronic impediments to social and economic opportunities, maintain African American women’s lousy reputation, and negatively impact their well-being, increasing their propensity to drug addiction (Aday & Farney, 2014).

Furthermore, correctional facilities offer minimal physical and mental healthcare, substance abuse and therapy services, and social assistance. These factors contribute to readmission and assist in elucidating what has been dubbed “the revolving door of incarceration.” Reincarceration is linked to the prevalence of alcohol and illegal drug consumption in rural areas and the consequences of remoteness on women’s capacity to meet reintegration demands. These systemic disparities distort mental health practitioners’ judgment, portraying women as reckless, helpless victims reliant on social support (Rosenfield & Mouzon, 2012).

Stereotypes, as well as the cynical and biased beliefs of professionals, met in prisons and healthcare systems and within communities, can compound these inequalities while perpetuating the perception that female convicts “prefer” to be incarcerated (Arfken & Yen, 2014). Such ideas oppress women by relying blindly on the gendered stereotypes stated above. Colonial experience harms Marginalized American women inmates in the shape of discriminatory and authoritarian notions of cultural “barbarism” and lack of individual agency. Women convicts are especially concerned by the systemic repercussions of these beliefs, which appear as disparities of chances and resources (Talbot, 2020). Many mental health practitioners may be unprepared to deal with these consequences. Girls and women are from low-income African-American backgrounds. Their communities are emblematic of low-income metropolitan regions in America, where state legislative initiatives have produced the conditions that result in women being convicted. These encompass the enactment of laws that resulted in a range of financial circumstances that incredibly restricted opportunity and effectively eliminated the prospect of persons ever becoming self-sufficient (Richie, 2012). Earnings, property ownership, and graduation rates are widely acknowledged social and economic well-being metrics that indicate continuous inequalities and chronic poverty, which substantially impact women’s history of abuse.

Finally, under the employment perspective, current statutory, administrative, and executive actions to provide equal career chances, women’s employment in all professional categories, including criminal justice, has not increased significantly (Ali & Adshead, 2022). The veterans’ favoritism structure, physical prerequisites, and sexual profiling of female officers by male coworkers and seniors are among the biggest impediments to equitable employment of women in policing. Women are proportionally underserved in the judicial system as prosecutors and prefer to specialize in marital and juvenile tribunals. As attorneys and prosecutors, women face tokenism and prejudice (Richie, 2012).

In conclusion, contact with the justice system is a significant kind of institutional racism and a prominent element of many African American women, girls, and families’ actual experiences in the United States. In the U. S., a considerable proportion of African American women are under community-based sentencing guidelines, and the psychological state and well-being of this specific demographic are underappreciated and undertheorized in the existing psychological field (Richie, 2012). From the standpoint of a gender perspective and justice interaction, African American women ‘s social placement represents systemic racial injustice. It is related to many stresses and hazards for depression and general poor mental health (Richie, 2012). This essay intended to change the conversation from trivializing African American women who come into touch with the system to a deeper comprehension of their mental health at this time and an exploration of mitigating variables to enhance mental health and wellness. Various types of social assistance, such as emotional/informational, tangible, and pleasant social engagement, may operate as buffers against the influence of stresses related to community monitoring on psychological distress. Researchers and practitioners interested in acknowledging the intersectional perspectives, cognitive science, and behavior patterns of African American women and girls in the United States could also take into account investigations and initiatives focusing on enhancing the mental health of an increasing number of African American women in contact with the justice system in various ways including correctional facilities and juvenile centers.


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The Physical And Neurological Effects Of Anorexia Nervosa Essay Example

Eating disorders are among the major health problems most people experience globally. The reason most people do not know about them is that, unlike other diseases and conditions, most of the people affected are afraid of going public. This is because the disorders can seriously affect the person’s body, mind, and emotions. Most patients suffering from this spectrum of illnesses hardly find people they can relate to; therefore, they suffer from stigmatization alongside the disease. Being a spectrum of disorders, it constitutes several disorders. The most common disorders in the range are; anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, rumination disorder, avoidant food intake disorder, and bulimia nervosa. The symptoms of the eating disorder vary from one condition to the other. Anorexia nervosa, or simply anorexia, is most probably the commonest of the diseases. Research experts do not know its cause, but genetics, environment, trauma, culture, and biological factors are believed to play a significant role in the occurrence of the disorder. Patients suffering from this disorder have an abnormally low body weight, extreme fear of weight gain, and a very negative perception of weight. The patients may also refuse to eat sufficient food while struggling to maintain what they think is healthy body weight and function. Besides, most anorexic patients often see themselves as overweight, despite being of the proper weight. Most use this false belief to justify their extreme abstinence from food, which may lead to serious health complications for the patient. These, among other complications, may compromise a person’s health status and lead to severe problems. This paper aims to bring to light the physical and neurological effects anorexia nervosa impacts on its patients.

Physical effects of anorexia nervosa

The intentional restrain from taking food in anorexic patients has been known to subject anorexic patients to severe physical problems. The array of biological effects may be both significant and minor. Some of these problems may become complications that could severely affect the entire bodily system. These complications arise due to massive weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. The systems that may be affected by this disorder range from the gastrointestinal, muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney and excretory, dermatological, ophthalmologic, and hematological systems. Some of these complications are reversible through better dieting and proper nutrition. Some system complications are, however, irreversible and long-term. This could easily lead to the patient’s death or damage to some organs. Below are the possible ways a person could be physically affected by anorexia nervosa through the individual’s different body systems.

Untreated anorexia nervosa could be detrimental to the patient’s cardiovascular system. The disorder has always been associated with adverse myocardial structural changes resulting in heart damage and failure (Sachs et al., 2021). This is the main reason why anorexics are hospitalized. Lack of essential body nutrients causes the patient’s body to slow down and lower its BMI to conserve energy. The heart, like other organs, is deprived of critical nutrients and grows weaker. Besides, studies show a significant reduction in heart mass, especially in the heart’s left ventricle (Sachs et al., 2021). Decreased left ventricular mass in anorexics leads to a significant reduction in cardiac output, reducing the amount of blood in circulation. The patients are also highly vulnerable to bradycardia due to weak heart muscles, leading to an abnormally slow heart rate. The shallow heart rate results from the parasympathetic nervous system’s efforts to conserve the little energy available. Low heart rate could also stem from the enlarging heart chambers and thinning heart walls, making pumping difficult.

Moreover, poor cardiac nutrition leads to bicuspid and tricuspid valve prolapse and a lower cardiac index. It could also lead to hypotension due to a slow heart rate, weak systole, and decreased cardiac preload (Sachs et al., 2021). Hypotension could also result from loss of cardiac reflex, which causes vasoconstriction, which raises blood pressure. Severe anorexics could also suffer from conditions such as purging through vomiting or laxatives. This often leads to dehydration, metabolic disturbances, low electrolyte levels, and deficient potassium and chloride serum levels. Hypokalemia affects the cardiac muscle contraction relaxation coupling, leading to an abnormal heartbeat (Sachs et al., 2021). Finally, to sustain blood circulation despite all odds, the heart works harder and strains, leading to heart failure. Heart problems, in turn, affect more than one system, which could compromise the physiology of multiple organs, causing detrimental effects on the patient’s health in general.

Restriction from food intake in patients suffering from anorexia nervosa also adversely affects the patient’s gastrointestinal system significantly. The restrained food intake in anorexics primarily results in problems in food digestion and regular stomach emptying, resulting in various stomach and gastrointestinal complications (Morgan & Jafar, 2022). These complications present with symptoms ranging from; vomiting, stomach bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain, intestinal blockage, abdominal distension, and regular fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Frequent vomiting incidents in anorexics have always been associated with swelling of parotid salivary glands in the mouth (Morgan & Jafar, 2022). It could also result in a hoarse voice and sore throat. Anorexia nervosa is also known to cause rare complications like acute gastric dilation, leading to necrosis since the stomach loses its retractability property. Gastric emptying is therefore hindered, resulting in obscured blood flow to the gastric and intestinal tissues (Morgan & Jafar, 2022). Necrosis leads to a dead gut and rupture of the gastric walls. Inadequate nutritional food intake may also reduce the bulk of food in the intestines leading to constipation.

Moreover, constipation in anorexics could also result from damage to peripheral nerve innervating the rectal and anal mucosa and muscles, decreasing the bowel movements essential for proper egestion (Morgan & Jafar, 2022). It could also stem from the weakening of intestinal muscles weakening the propulsion of digested food (Morgan & Jafar, 2022). Severe constipation sometimes leads to further complications like bowel prolapse, where there is a rectal protrusion in the patient’s anal opening. Finally, bowel problems in patients with anorexia are a known cause of intestinal obstruction and inflammation of the pancreas, among other problems.

Anorexia nervosa is also known to affect the endocrine system, which is responsible for releasing various hormones in the body. This can occur because of not one but several reasons. When a person restrains themselves from taking food, this could result in depletion of the lipid and cholesterol stores in the body. With depleted lipid and cholesterol stores, hormones are reduced since fats and cholesterols are essential for synthesizing most hormones (Stevens, 2022). The fall in hormone levels leads to the depletion of glycogen stores in the body since hormones are required to convert glucose to glycogen in glycogenesis. The fall in hormone levels and starvation may also lead to abnormal glucose metabolism, which leads to hypoglycemia (Baskaran et al., 2017)

Hypoglycemia could lead to a spectrum of problems in the person’s body. These problems include severe headaches, slow thinking, seizures, and irregular changes in mood. To conserve the little glucose in the body, the body usually lowers its resting metabolic rate. If this continues for very long, the patient could suffer from hypothermia since there is inadequate glucose to facilitate hyperthermic reactions in the body.

Furthermore, anorexia nervosa is a known cause of musculoskeletal problems in patients. This is because when one is deprived of food, they have inadequate access to essential nutrients like calcium and vitamins for bone growth. Insufficient calcium and phosphorus reserves in the body lead to many skeletal problems. Some of these include reduced bone mass density, weakening of the bones, osteoporosis, osteopenia, and increased risk of fractures since the bones are brittle. Osteoporosis results from bone loss due to the breakdown of calcium stores in the trabecular bone (Baskaran et al., 2017). This may weaken the patient’s skeletal system making them feel pain in the back, lose breath and height, and change their posture.

Moreover, nutrient deficiency from anorexia leads to the breakdown of muscle protein to provide energy (Stevens, 2022). This weakens the patient’s muscles and makes them weak and exhausted, leading to a significant loss in muscle tone (Stevens, 2022). The disorder could also lead to the loss of electrolytes that are essential for the motor action of muscles, thus, causing a lot of pain and muscle spasms since nerve signals are not transmitted well at neuromuscular junctions.

Nevertheless, anorexia nervosa affects the integumentary and dermatological systems in several ways. These ways are the most common and easily recognizable effects this disorder has on its patients. Nutritional deprivation experienced by most anorexics physically changes the patient’s skin, hair, and nails in several ways. Anorexics often suffer from bluish discoloration of their fingertips and ears (Stevens, 2022). This occurs because, with less food intake for energy provision, the blood flow rate is slowed; thus, in cold places, the fingertips and ears turn bluish. It also results in the development of fine lanugo-like hair on the body to conserve the little heat the body can produce.

Moreover, anorexics are prone to thinning and falling out of hair on the scalp due to malnutrition (Stevens, 2022). Other frequent cutaneous manifestations of anorexia include xerosis, nail fragility, hyperpigmentation in a few people, self-induced dermatitis, scurvy, and acrodermatitis. Caroternoderma could also result from a deficiency in the ingestion of carotenoid-rich vegetables. Purging-type anorexia nervosa is also primarily associated with Russell’s sign. This sign is mainly characterized by the development of knuckle calluses and lesions on the planter aspect of the patient’s hand due to the frequent introduction of the patient’s hands into their mouth. Finally, anorexics are also vulnerable to acne development (Stevens, 2022). The worst part about acne development in anorexics is that the acne could risk the anorexic more to starvation. Most anorexic patients adopt several mechanisms to control acne development, and most involve their dieting behavior. These dieting behaviors may worsen the condition, leading to more acne and severe weight loss.

Another physical effect of the manifestation of anorexia nervosa in patients is the adverse complications the disorder causes on the kidney and excretory systems. Most of the difficulties caused are very serious, though some are fully treatable. Patients suffering from anorexia often suffer from vitamin deficiency, low minerals level, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration due to starvation, binging, and purging (Marumoto et al., 2020). These deficiencies are the leading causes of kidney complications since they keep the kidney from functioning as it should. The difficulties range from acute kidney injury, long-term kidney disease, development of kidney stones, hyponatremia, and hypokalemia. The most common of these complications is kidney stones. They develop due to the accumulation of waste and toxins like ammonium urate and calcium oxalate, due to poor flushing system of the kidney, in cases of dehydration due to anorexia nervosa. These toxins and waste products of excretion crystalize after accumulation leading to a build-up of stones. Kidney stones in patients with anorexia subject them to sudden flank pain radiating from the groins, pain when urinating, and production of bloody or brown urine, among other complications. This condition is, however, treatable and reversible. Acute kidney injuries are a common characteristic of patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. This complication leads to a sharp decline in kidney function and could lead to death if the condition goes unattended (Marumoto et al., 2020). It stems from other issues like dehydration, urine obstruction in patients with kidney stones, irregular blood pressure, and low nutrient intake.

Moreover, if anorexia goes unchecked, it could worsen the kidney condition and lead to chronic kidney disease. This condition is permanent and more severe than other kidney complications due to AN (Marumoto et al., 2020). The disease results from low potassium serum levels, high calcium levels in the blood, chronic dehydration, and long-term kidney inflammation, among other causes. Finally, electrolyte imbalance is another kidney complication associated with anorexia—the imbalance of delicate electrolytes like potassium and sodium results from excessive vomiting, leading to hypokalemia (Marumoto et al., 2020). The kidneys change the sodium and magnesium serum concentration to compensate for the decrease in potassium serum levels. This imbalance affects the kidneys and other systems in the body, including the heart.

Besides, anorexia nervosa has been deduced to cause several reproductive complications. The disorder is known for its ability to disrupt the hormonal cycle in women due to drastic drops in fat levels. These disruptions in the hormonal process lead to menstrual complications and other reproductive issues in anorexic subjects. If left untreated, these disruptions could cause permanent damage to the reproductive system, and the subject may never have a normal reproductive cycle again (Guverich, 2019). Furthermore, women whose menstrual cycles have been disrupted due to anorexia are highly susceptible to infertility and pregnancy complications. Some of the most typical complications anorexic women experience are amenorrhea and oligomenorrhoea (irregular periods) (Guverich, 2019). These complications in the menstrual cycle mean the woman’s ovulation cycle is also at stake; this is what makes it hard for anorexic women to get pregnant. Abnormal hormone levels lead to shrinkage of the ovaries and uterus of some women with anorexia nervosa upon pelvic ultrasound studies (Guverich, 2019). During childbirth and pregnancy term, anorexic women are prone to miscarriages, preterm delivery, and an increased risk of birthing underweight children. In men, anorexia affects male fertility since abnormally low-fat levels lead to deficient testosterone and androgen levels, leading to an imbalanced sperm count and erectile dysfunction (Guverich, 2019). Some of these conditions could be reversed by proper dieting.

Finally, breathing and other respiratory complications are other common physical manifestations of anorexia. The extreme nutritional deficit in anorexics is a known cause of the weakening of some functional respiration muscles, like the diaphragm (Stevens, 2022). Emphysema is also a common respiratory complication of anorexia. Voluntary starvation, leading to human caloric malnutrition, produces emphysematous lung structure changes. Long-term caloric malnutrition in anorexic subjects leads to loss of lung tissue and decreases surfactant production. This destabilizes the alveoli and reduces the number of alveoli and surface area for gaseous exchange. Malnutrition in anorexic patients could also lead to other respiratory complications, including; bronchiectasis, where there is an excessively thick mucous membrane in inflamed airways, and spontaneous pneumothorax (Stevens, 2022). Pulmonary edema could also result from a reduction in surfactant production; thus, the alveoli are not kept dry.

Neurological effects of anorexia nervosa

Besides impacting physical effects on its patients, anorexia nervosa is also known for the different neurological effects it has implications on them. Most of the known neurological impacts of this disease stem from malnutrition, decreasing the amounts of vitamins and minerals available for the normal neurological functioning of the body. Anorexia can lead to brain damage if left unchecked (England, 2022). Research shows that severe weight loss and insufficient levels of some vitamins and minerals could lead to deterioration in the brain’s gray and white matter amounts. This leads to an overall reduction in brain volume, and the results could be detrimental to the patient (England, 2022). Atrophy of brain matter could occur due to disruption in neurotransmitter release, initiating structural changes in the brain. Brain atrophy due to anorexia nervosa has been associated with other neurologic complications like dementia (memory loss that leads to problems in abstract thinking, learning, and planning), aphasia, addiction, depression, and schizophrenia in some cases (England, 2022). Depression and irritability result from the adverse effects this disorder have on the emotional centers, the limbic system, in the brain.

Hyponatremia and other electrolytic imbalance disorders due to malnutrition and vomiting in anorexic patients could also result in neurological complications like seizures. This is because sodium and other electrolytes are essential in initiating action potentials and nerve impulses. Low sodium levels and profound imbalance of other electrolytes could lead to irregular impulses leading to seizures in such individuals (Stevens, 2022). Sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride deficiency, sure to severe dehydration, could also lead to muscle cramps since there are difficulties in impulse transmission at the neuromuscular junction. Irregular impulse generation could also affect multiple systems since nerve signals are required by all body parts of these organs’ typical motor and sensory functioning.

Severe complications such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy due to deficiency of vitamin B1 in severe malnutrition could also result from anorexia nervosa. This disease, due to Vitamin B1 deficiency, could cause other complications like; walking difficulties, confusion, amnesia, and visual disturbances (Stevens, 2022). It could also lead to permanent brain damage if not treated right (Stevens, 2022). This makes it a medical emergency. Anorexia could also contribute to the development of Wernicke’s encephalopathy since the body is deprived of essential minerals like magnesium, which is vital in converting vitamin B1 (thiamine) into its active form, pyrophosphate.

Finally, anorexia can lead to nerve-related conditions like peripheral neuropathies and numbness. These complications lead to general body weakness and reduction or absence of deep tendon reflexes. Other nerve-related complications, like bilateral peroneal nerve palsies, have also been diagnosed in anorexic patients. Odd nerve sensations in the hands and feet could also result from this disorder since there is an overall disruption in action potential generation and transmission.

In conclusion, anorexia nervosa can cause many health complications beyond the usual ones known to most people, like malnutrition. Therefore, healthcare personnel should manage patients suffering from this psychiatric disorder well since it puts them at a very high risk of suffering both physical and neurological health problems.


Marumoto, H., Sasaki, T., Tsuboi, N., & Ito. (2020, July). Kidney Disease Associated With Anorexia Nervosa: A Case Series With Kidney Biopsies. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

Morgan, J., & Jafar, W. (2022). Anorexia nervosa and the gastrointestinal tract. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

Guverich, R. (2019, July 17). Anorexia, Bulimia, and Your Fertility. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

England, A. (2022, July 19). Anorexia Can Change Brain Structure. Very Well Mind. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

Sachs, K. V., Harnke, B., & Mehler. (2021, October 21). Cardiovascular complications of anorexia nervosa: A systematic review. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

Baskaran, C., Misra, M., & Klibanski, A. (2017). Effects of Anorexia Nervosa on the Endocrine System. Pediatric endocrinology reviews: PER14(3), 302–311.

Stevens, A. (2022, July 18). What Does Anorexia Do to the Body? Retrieved December 6, 2022, from

The Role Of Spoken Word Sample Assignment


What is the role of speech (the spoken word) in written literature? This question has been debated for centuries as authors, poets, and other creative minds have tried to find the best way to bridge the gap between spoken and written languages. Amiri Baraka’s essay, “Expressive Language,” is one of the most influential works on this debate and serves as the foundation for this essay. Through an examination of Baraka’s essay and several texts from this semester, this essay will explore the role of speech in written literature.

Language as a Vehicle

Baraka’s essay, which draws from various texts, outlines how the spoken word can be used to create and explore an array of ideas and emotions. Baraka begins by discussing that “language is a vehicle for thought and feeling” (Baraka 3). He argues that language is the primary means of communication and expression and is essential to writing. In his essay “Expressive Language,” Amiri Baraka draws from the works of James Baldwin, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and other writers to illustrate how language can be used to create and explore an array of ideas and emotions. Baraka cites Baldwin’s essay “The Creative Process” to illustrate how language can evoke emotion and communicate ideas. He also argues that language can be used to explore the human condition and communicate ideas in a much more powerful way than the written word. He also cites Gates’s essay “The Significance of Language” to illustrate how the spoken word can be used to create tension and suspense in a story and that it can be used to explore complex ideas and emotions. Baraka also draws from the works of Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Nella Larsen to illustrate how the spoken word can bring a story to life and bridge the gap between cultures. He notes that “the spoken word can be a powerful tool in the creative process” (Baraka 3). He elaborates on this idea by discussing how language can evoke emotion and communicate ideas. He argues that language can be used to paint a vivid picture of a character’s feelings and thoughts and can be used to convey the complexity and depth of an individual’s experience.

Differences between the Written and Spoken Languages

Baraka also discusses the differences between written and spoken languages. He argues that the spoken word can convey various emotions and ideas and is an invaluable tool in writing literature. He argues that the written language is often seen as a “static and sterile” communication. He believes that the written language lacks the emotion and power that can be found in the spoken word. On the other hand, spoken language has a greater capacity to convey emotion and meaning. He explains that written language can convey meaning and emotion, but it is often limited by its lack of sound and other sensory elements. He believes the written language is limited by its lack of intonation, gestures, and facial expressions and thus cannot convey the same emotion and meaning as the spoken word. Baraka argues that to bridge the gap between written and spoken languages, authors must incorporate elements from spoken language into their writing. He suggests that authors use “poetic language.” Amiri Baraka suggests that authors use poetic language unconstrained by the rules of grammar and syntax when writing literature. This style of writing allows for greater freedom of expression and creativity. By forgoing grammar and syntax restrictions, authors can create a unique and expressive style.

Several texts support Baraka’s argument. In Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, specifically, Morrison uses spoken language to bring to life the characters and emotions of the novel. For example, Morrison often uses a dialect unique to the African-American community in her writing. This dialect captures the characters’ emotions and conveys the experience of oppression powerfully. Furthermore, in poems like William Wordsworth’s “The Solitary Reaper” and Emily Dickinson’s “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass,” spoken language is used to create a sense of immediacy and intimacy with the reader. The poems “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass” by Emily Dickinson and “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth exemplify how spoken language can create a vivid and powerful reading experience. In “A Narrow Fellow in the Grass,” Dickinson uses repetition and colloquialisms to create a sense of immediacy and intimacy with the reader. The repeated phrase “like a finger” helps the reader to empathize with the character’s experience, and the colloquial language helps to bring the character’s emotions to life.

Similarly, in “The Solitary Reaper,” Wordsworth uses repetition and colloquialisms to evoke emotion and create a vivid picture of the character’s experience. The repeated phrase “the melody” helps the reader to understand the character’s feelings, and the colloquial language helps to bring the character’s emotions to life. Using colloquialisms, repetition, and other features of the spoken language, these poems can bring to life the characters’ experiences and evoke powerful emotions in the reader.

Transcending Language Barrier

Amiri Baraka argues that the spoken word has the power to transcend language barriers and bring people together. He draws from the works of Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and other writers to illustrate how the spoken word can communicate with people of different backgrounds and cultures. Baraka argues that the spoken word can create a sense of unity and understanding, as it can bridge the gap between cultures and create a sense of understanding and respect. He believes that the spoken word can unite people, as it can be used to communicate with people of different backgrounds and cultures, regardless of language barriers. By using the spoken word, people of different backgrounds and cultures can gain an understanding of each other and create a sense of empathy and respect. Furthermore, Baraka believes that the spoken word can create a sense of connection between cultures and create a sense of understanding and unity.

In conclusion, spoken language plays a massive role in written literature. According to Baraka, the spoken word can elicit feelings, convey concepts, and dissolve cultural barriers. It can build suspense, explore complex concepts and feelings, and make a story come to life. As a result, the spoken word is a priceless tool in literary writing and is crucial to the creative process.

Work Cited

Baraka, Amiri. “Expressive Language.” Poetry Foundation, 8 June 2020,