Inside the Mind of an Anorexic


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Eating disorders are something I simply could never understand. How could someone look in the mirror and see an obese person when in reality they are extremely underweight? Their perception of themselves is so incredibly strong that it overpowers the reality staring right back at them in the mirror.

anorexia-y-bulimia.jpg

As defined by Psychology Today's website, "Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to stay at even the minimum body weight considered normal for the person's age and height. Other symptoms of the disorder include distorted body image and an intense fear of weight gain."  Obviously, the problem begins as a psychological disorder and soon leads to physical problems and ailments. In the mind of an anorexic, self-esteem and happiness are based entirely on weight. Becoming thin is a person's only concern and they disregard health and risks completely in order to achieve the "perfect" weight. This disease is an attempt to gain control of one's life and emotions through weight loss. 

The root of the problem of this disease is not the food or a person's weight, it is other underlying psychological problems. Where do these obsessive and negative thoughts come from? In my opinion, the problem starts at home. If a person does not have a loving, supportive family, they are bound to face insecurity, low self-worth, and unhappiness. If parents are extremely controlling or strict, a person may feel the need to take control of the one thing they can - their weight. If parents are perfectionists and strive for their kids to be perfect, their child may feel that being skinny means being perfect. Therefore, the child become obsessed with the "perfect" body image. Though these are not proven causes, I feel that they are definitely related to this disease because from a young age, children's perception of themselves are formed from their parents and environment.

A few years ago, my health teacher should us This video from the Dr. Phil show and I will never ever forget it. This is undoubtedly the most shocking case of anorexia I have ever heard of. This girl also suffers from bulimia as well. If you have the time, watch the full episode. It is extremely interesting. 


Sources:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/anorexia-nervosa
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anorexia_signs_symptoms_causes_treatment.htm

4 Comments

I'm so happy you decided to blog about this because anorexia and all other types of eating disorders are so prevalent in our society now a days. I am like you and will never understand how someone could make themselves throw up or starve themselves just so they can have the "perfect" body. But like many people say, you never understand until you've experienced it yourself and for that reason specifically I feel like people that have gone through eating disorders need to start raising awareness and offer support for those going through it. Even if someone gets through the toughest times, an eating disorder is something that people have to deal with for the rest of your life. Below is a link that discusses all the physical effects from eating disorders, you may be surprised by how much the body suffers from eating disorders.

http://www.eatingproblems.org/epseffect.html

Although I honestly don't understand these horrible eating disorders, it's so important to be knowledgeable about them. It's so sad that our society has driven young people, especially girls to become so sick. I have seen this episode of Dr. Phil before and it's honestly the most heartbreaking episode. To see this young girl killing herself over her weight, it really makes you wonder how you can reach out to her. I cannot imagine the pain that her family goes through trying to help her. It's so hard to help people that are in so deep. Controlling these psychological problems is something that only doctors can really do. I researched some ways to help people fighting these eating disorders because I think it's important to reach out to people in any way possible. College is a prime spot for eating disorders to develop. Many girls are looking for that "perfect body" in our age group so it's important to be knowledgeable. I found a really awesome awareness project called project HEAL. These two girls met while undergoing treatment for anorexia and joined together to help other girls. This is a great project that I think everyone could benefit from looking into. Click here for more information
http://www.forbes.com/sites/deniserestauri/2013/09/04/back-on-campus-the-girls-of-project-heal-take-on-the-world-of-eating-disorders/

This is very interesting. I agree and disagree with the statement you made about why people get eating disorders. I do think some of it can be because of your family life style and how you are treated at home, but I also think that sometimes this is not the case. I knew of a girl who had a very wonderful family and was cared for so much. She developed an eating disorder and no one could pinpoint exactly what it was that made her become anorexic. I found an article which covers some reasons why people develop eating disorders. It can be because of genetics, biochemistry, psychological factors, cultural and environmental factors. If people with home issues developed eating disorders than that would just make up for the environmental factors. Here is the link below.

http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/400-eating-disorders-why-do-they-happen

I feel that an even bigger reason than family pressures is the media. Media is EVERYWHERE you look. Billboards, magazines, television, you name it. The idea of what "beauty" is starts when a little girl receives her first barbie doll. She has a tiny waist, big breasts, long legs, and bleach blonde hair. From the start of a women's life, she is programmed to think that skinny is the only form of beautiful. The images that we see are almost always photoshopped so much, and the average women who is viewing the image is unaware that the models are not even able to achieve these "perfect" looks on their own. The media literally tricks women into thinking that being perfect is achievable. The saying, "nobody's perfect" is actually a very true statement. It's no wonder why women feel so much pressure to be skinny, which is why eating disorders occur.

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