Anorexia Nervosa & Pro-Anorexia Anorexia is a powerful and terrifying disease that a lot of teenagers have to fight themselves. This disease consists of constant restricting of calories/food, exercising non-stop and living in constant fear of gaining weight or being judged. But is there more to it than just those three main factors?

Anorexia nervosa & Pro-Anorexia

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Page 1: Anorexia nervosa & Pro-Anorexia

Anorexia Nervosa & Pro-Anorexia

Anorexia is a powerful and terrifying disease that a lot of teenagers have to fight themselves. This disease consists of constant restricting of calories/food, exercising non-stop and

living in constant fear of gaining weight or being judged. But is there more to it than just those three main factors?

Page 2: Anorexia nervosa & Pro-Anorexia

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia is a mental-disorder characterized by an endless desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. Anorexia often has certain behaviors that associate with not eating and may or may not consist of ways to “purge” food from the victims body.But usually anorexia will consist of trying to lose weight by not eating or exercising too much.

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Anorexia Signs & Symptoms “Dieting despite being thin – Following a severely restricted diet. Eating only certain low-calorie foods. Banning “bad” foods such as carbohydrates and fats. Obsession with calories, fat grams, and nutrition – Reading food labels, measuring and weighing portions, keeping a food diary, reading diet books. Pretending to eat or lying about eating – Hiding, playing with, or throwing away food to avoid eating. Making excuses to get out of meals (“I had a huge lunch” or “My stomach isn’t feeling good.”). Preoccupation with food – Constantly thinking about food. Cooking for others, collecting recipes, reading food magazines, or making meal plans while eating very little. Strange or secretive food rituals – Refusing to eat around others or in public places. Eating in rigid, ritualistic ways (e.g. cutting food “just so”, chewing food and spitting it out, using a specific plate).”

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Physical Anorexia SymptomsDramatic weight loss – Rapid, drastic weight loss with no medical cause. Feeling fat, despite being underweight – You may feel overweight in general or just “too fat” in certain places such as the stomach, hips, or thighs. Fixation on body image – Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight. Harshly critical of appearance – Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. There’s always something to criticize. You’re never thin enough. Denial that you’re too thin – You may deny that your low body weight is a problem, while trying to conceal it (drinking a lot of water before being weighed, wearing baggy or oversized clothes).

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Purging Anorexia Symptoms

Using diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics – Abusing water pills, herbal appetite suppressants, prescription stimulants, ipecac syrup, and other drugs for weight loss. Throwing up after eating – Frequently disappearing after meals or going to the bathroom. May run the water to disguise sounds of vomiting or reappear smelling like mouthwash or mints. Compulsive exercising – Following a punishing exercise regimen aimed at burning calories. Exercising through injuries, illness, and bad weather. Working out extra hard after bingeing or eating something “bad.”

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What do people without Anorexia, see Anorexia to be?

People without Anorexia seem to shine the spotlight on what we see on TV, on one channel we have a Victoria’s Secret advertisement, flaunting tall and thin women and on another we have fashion shows focusing on thin models.

We see these thin people often as being “anorexic” and we use a disease as a way to describe a certain weight or bone shape. But the real disease is so much more than this, so why do we claim that these people on TV are anorexic or bulimic?

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On the left is a photo of a modern day model, people often class people like her as “anorexic” because they follow a strict (but healthy) diet and exercise plan. But on the right are two different females with the anorexia disease, these people walk with everybody else but don’t get a spotlight because society has classed models and celebrities as “anorexic” whether people with actual mental disorders.

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Mental Distortions of Pro-AnorexiaPro-Anorexia is a big thing on the Internet right now. A group/cult of “anorexia crusaders” are encouraging girls and boys to not eat, to work out non-stop and to label food and weight gain as something evil. They often address “ana” as their god or goddess of weight loss, almost worshiping “her” for inspiration to lose weight.

Many of these “crusaders” believe that once they restrict food intake, purge and work out non-stop they will have a body with beautiful/healthy curves and full breasts and they will be beautiful. But their views on what anorexia is are incredibly twisted and distorted to make them think they will have the outcome of a Victoria’s Secret Angel.

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A lot of these “anorexic crusaders” have no idea what they’re setting themselves up for in terms of losing weight at an unhealthy rate.

It should be common knowledge that with 0% body fat you won’t have beautiful curves or cute thighs. Instead you’ll have nothing but bone.

A lot of these girls use “thinspo” posts on their blogs to help them and others hit their “goal weight” these “thinspo” posts will usually contain some form of ultimatum, i.e. “Would you rather have three meals or a thigh gap?”Using inspiration like this is incredibly triggering for some young females and may send them into full-out anorexia.

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The TruthThe truth with pro-anorexia is that the outcome will not look like a model. In fact, the outcome could result in very life-threatening problems concerning the weight and body mass index of the victim with anorexia.Nobody wants anorexia and nobody wants to fear their own weight, so why encourage it?

There are many health problems associated with anorexia-nervosa.

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Health ProblemsThere are four serious long-term health problems that may be associated with anorexia. These health problems include, • Heart problems

• Osteoporosis • Mental health issues • Death.

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Heart Problems and AnorexiaAnorexia health problems related to the heart can include,•A slowing of the heart rate •Lower blood pressure •Irregular heart rhythms •Heart failure

Slow heart rate: your heart beats very slowly. In severe forms of slow heart rate, the heart beats so slowly that it doesn't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. This can cause symptoms and can be life-threatening.

Low blood pressure: Blood pressure is generated by the heart pumping blood into the arteries. Having low blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, bad eyesight and hardening of the arteries.

Irregular heart rhythms and heart failure: Your heart doesn’t have a proper amount of beats per minute, so blood doesn’t get to the rest of your body fast enough.Heart failure is when your heart stops completely.

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Osteoporosis and AnorexiaOsteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture (broken bones), particularly of the hip, spine, wrist and shoulder. Osteoporosis is often known as "the silent thief" because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

Osteoporosis is common in anorexia nervosa. It places these patients at increased lifetime risk for fractures. Bone loss may never recover completely even once weight is restored. The strongest predictors of osteoporosis include low body weight and amenorrhea. Loss of bone density can occur rapidly and very early in the course of anorexia nervosa. The etiology of bone loss in the patient with anorexia nervosa is multifactorial.

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Anorexia and Mental-Problems“Depression, or unipolar depression, is a problem characterized by an extremely sad mood that lasts for a long period of time and a lack of interest or pleasure in doing things that usually makes a person happy.”

Does depression tie into Anorexia though? Many teen’s from the social-media website Tumblr include in their stories of their battles with Anorexia that throughout the entire time they felt majorly depressed and/or suicidal.

With such a harsh disease following them around and making them hate their body more and more, not to mention make them feel guilty over what they eat and how they eat, wouldn’t they feel some form of depression throughout their battle?

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Anorexia and Mental-Problems“People with anorexia are often depressed. It can be a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” type of thing. Did they develop anorexia because they were depressed, or did they become depressed because they are anorexic?”

“They often develop other self-destructive behaviors, such as self-mutilation. They may cut or burn or otherwise harm themselves as a way of coping with painful emotions.”

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" - Portia De Rossi Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain"

"Anorexia was my first love. We met and were instantly attracted to each other. We spent every moment of the day together. Through its eyes, I saw the world differently. It taught me to feel good about myself, how to improve myself, and how to think. Through it all, it never left my side. It was always there when everyone else had left, and as long as I didn't ignore it, it never left me alone"

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Recovery and Help

Nobody wants to admit they have a problem, whether it be with school, or home issues. It’s almost embarrassing or degrading to come out and say “I need help.” it’s the exact same for people with anorexia, no victim of such a horrifying disease wants to admit they have that disease, so they often go untreated.Whether this lack of treatment is due to their self or their peers, it needs to stop. When somebody notices that somebody’s eating habits have changed drastically, they’ve lost a ridiculous amount of weight or they’re becoming detached from everyone, it’s best to get help right away.

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“But what if they’re mad at me?”In the best way possible, people will often be worried that their friend will be mad at them if they reveal their condition. But the best thing to remember is that a mad friend is better than a dead friend, and once their recovery is through they most likely will be more grateful than upset at you for exposing what’s going on.

People with anorexia often feel alone, so they shut out their emotions and make it seem like nobody has to worry about them because they’re going to be fine, but that’s not going to happen. Recovering from a mental disease by yourself would be an equivalent to coping with a drug addiction by doing different drugs. There’s no gain at all, and no one is going to win or come out healthy. Anorexia isn’t something to be taken lightly, and there’s always help. The worst thing somebody can do is assume they’ll be “fine” or judge somebody with a mental disorder and class them as being weak and helpless. Everybody is different and everybody deals with things in their life differently.

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“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.”

― Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

“I wanted to kill the me underneath. That fact haunted my days and nights. When you realize you hate yourself so much, when you realize that you cannot stand who you are, and this deep spite has been the motivation behind your behavior for many years, your brain can’t quite deal with it. It will try very hard to avoid that realization; it will try, in a last-ditch effort to keep your remaining parts alive, to remake the rest of you. This is, I believe, different from the suicidal wish of those who are in so much pain that death feels like relief, different from the suicide I would later attempt, trying to escape that pain. This is a wish to murder yourself; the connotation of kill is too mild. This is a belief that you deserve slow torture, violent death.” ― Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

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• “Between 10 and 20 percent of people with anorexia die from heart attacks, other complications and suicide; the disease has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Or Kitty could have lost her life in a different way, lost it to the roller coaster of relapse and recovery, inpatient and outpatient, that eats up, on average, five to seven years. Or a lifetime: only half of all anorexics recovery in the end. The other half endure lives of dysfunction and despair. Friends and families give up on them. Doctors dread treating them. They’re left to stand in the bakery with the voice ringing in their ears, alone in every way that matters.” ― Harriet Brown

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There’s always help available for anorexia. School counselors, teachers, parents, principals, doctors and siblings are always willing to help. Coping with knowing your friend, classmate, family member, etc. has anorexia is extremely difficult and whatever emotions you may feel towards the situation, the victim is feeling 1,000,000x more. Getting help will be the best solution to this mental problem.

Knowing that the end solution to anorexia recovery is suicide is a brutal thing. It’s hard to imagine how somebody feels to be in constant torture, and nobody would ever wish that upon somebody close or even an acquaintance. Recovery is the best option for these victims, before their disease escalates into something more dangerous or deadly.

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• “She used to look forward to changing in the locker room when other girls stole shocked glances at her emaciated body last spring. Now they would look at her and think she was fat--just as fat as all the other girls, maybe even fatter. Nothing separated her from the parade of thunder thighs trooping up the stairs from the locker room to the gym.” ― Steven Levenkron, Kessa

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• “Being strong isn’t being able to starve yourself for three weeks. Being strong is being able to get out of your eating disorder and becoming healthy, even when the voice in your head won’t let you. Ignoring this voice, ana or mia or both, IS being the strongest, so don’t ever give up”

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It will all turn out fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.