General Purpose: To inform
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the disorder known as pica
Have you ever eaten dirt as a child? What if you actually craved it? For those suffering from the psychological disorder known as pica, this is a reality. While pica is considered relatively normal in the early years of childhood, it can last into adulthood, becoming more of an issue for the afflicted person.
Thesis: While pica can only truly be diagnosed by a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, it affects certain populations, has a typical set of symptoms, and requires a combination of medical and psychological treatments.
I. Pica is an eating disorder that affects several populations.
A. According to Dr. Linda J. Vorvick, MD (2010), pica occurs most often in young children between the ages of one and six, as well as pregnant women and malnourished adults.
1. Dr. Amal Chakraburrty, MD (2010), contributor to the website http://www.WebMD.com , writes:
“The Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology currently estimates that the prevalence rates of pica range from four percent to twenty six percent among institutionalized populations. Research among non-institutionalized populations takes the form of individual case studies, making prevalence rates difficult to estimate” (2010).
II. In addition to a specific population of affliction, pica has a specific set of symptoms.
A. The first and most obvious symptom of pica is the consumption of non-food items
1. Vorvick (2010) summarizes some of the most common non-food items ingested by patients with pica as feces, clay, dirt, hairballs, ice, paint, and sand.
B. Dr. Cynthia Ellis, M.D. (2009) describes additional symptoms of pica:
1. Patients are often secretive about their behavior or in denial about their eating habit.
2. Patients often ingest infectious or poisonous material.
3. Patients most commonly suffer...