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All About Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are both serious eating disorders. They are psychiatric illnesses that affect more than five million Americans - and that's both men and women! If this figure doesn't startle you, then listen to this - thousands of these five million people will die from the physical problems resulting from these conditions. Eating disorders aren't limited to the extremes of anorexia and bulimia. They also include binge eating and dangerous fad dieting. In a culture where thin is in, nearly every American woman, man and child has suffered at one time or another from issues of weight, body shape and self-image.

What Is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa is a disorder in which an individual becomes obsessed with dieting and thinness. This obsession leads to excessive weight loss. The anorexic's preoccupation with food and weight is distorted and results in severe self-loathing. Anorexics have an extremely warped body image - despite being extraordinarily thin, most see themselves as fat. They actually fear fat, even when they are painfully thin. There are many theories as to why and how people become anorexic. Some believe that anorexia masks other underlying psychological problems, such as lack of control. Sometimes when a person feels they have no control over their situation(s) (maybe school, family, work, etc.), they transfer the need for control into control over their body. Anorexics usually weigh 85 percent or less than what is expected for age and height. In addition to the obvious physical problem of extremely low weight, anorexics are often depressed, lonely and filled with feelings of shame about their physical appearance.

Anorexia Warning Signs

Check out the following, but keep in mind that these are only a few of the tell-tale signs of anorexia.

  • Loss of a significant amount of weight.
  • Continuing to diet although thin.
  • Feeling fat, even after losing weight.
  • Intense fear of weight gain.
  • Loss of monthly menstrual periods.
  • Preoccupation with food, calories, fat contents and nutrition. Also, categorizing foods into Good vs. Dangerous food groups.

Anorexia Can Kill

It's not just fashion - it's life and death. Anorexia can cause serious damage to your body. Take a look for yourself.

  • Shrunken organs.
  • Bone mineral loss, which can lead to osteoporosis (that means twisting up into a humpback like QuasiModo).
  • Low body temperature.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Slowed metabolism and reflexes.
  • Irregular heartbeat, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
  • Death.

Facts to Chew On

  • More than five million men, women and children suffer from eating disorders.
  • An estimated one thousand women die each year from anorexia nervosa.
  • One percent of American teenage girls develop anorexia. Ten percent of them may die from it.

Writer's Story About Anorexia

When I was 14 years old, I became anorexic. I obsessed about my weight, thinking I was huge. I lost weight, not by dieting (at least not on purpose,) but by not eating. I couldn't handle eating in front of other people. I didn't want anyone to see me eat - weird, huh? I'd get up in the morning and eat nothing for breakfast. I started drinking a lot of coffee - black, because milk and sugar had too many calories for me to risk it. I'd drink coffee on my break and at lunch. After school, I would be so hungry I thought I was going to pass out, so I'd have a bowl of soup broth. That was it for the day. Come dinner time, I was full from the soup, so again, I ate nothing. I remember my parents freaking out, saying I was sick and that I would end up in the hospital. And I kept saying "What's the issue, I just want to lose weight. I'm so fat, I can afford to lose a few pounds." The truth is that despite looking in the mirror and seeing a fat girl, I was 40lbs under weight. I'm better now, although I did have one relapse when I went to college. If there is anything I can share with you it's this: your value as a person is not measured in pounds, or reflected in the mirror. It is the sum of your thoughts and actions, and the contributions you make (major or minor) to the world.
This article is dedicated to Joan.

Have you suffered from an eating disorder? and we'll publish a collection of your experiences and thoughts on this subject.

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Do You Worry About Your Weight?

  • Yes, I always think I look fat.
  • Sometimes, but I try not to obsess about it.
  • Never. I'm healthy and look like a million bucks.
  • No, but I have friends who do.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
"skylar245" wrote: I'm joining a new school in august ... the only people joining me are my bullies and my BFF, Alyssa. Actually, She might not even come! There's an easy way to erase that "bully" label you're giving these people. Would you like to hear it? Rhetorical question. Words only hurt if you let them. I understand how harmful negative comments can be, but you need to try your absolute best to ignore them. The main goal bullies have is to bring you down; they want to see you get upset. Shrug it off. A tweet from the lovely Suzy Berhow states "When some is nasty or treats you poorly. It says nothing about you, but a lot about them". That's a quote everyone should live by. Just keep your head up. ♥♥ Even if your friend doesn't go to that school with you, don't worry. I'm sure she'll still be there to give emotional support when needed. "skylar245" wrote:I barely had any friends at my old school because I was too "nerdy"! I'm scared that no one will like me because I ruined everything at my old school! please someone send advice! New school = Clean slate If you don't like things that took place at your old school, congratulations- you're going to be in an environment with different people who, likely, act a different way. The absolute best way to make new friends is to be yourself. Don't act like someone you're not just to please people. Who cares if you're "too nerdy"? At least you're not fake. And remember - even if you can't make new friends, you always have the ones that are already there for you- including your internet pals. They'll all have your back. Good luck. x
reply about 1 hour
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in Friends:
Socialize. Or drop your pencil in class next to someone, they will pick it up and you can say "Thanks, Hey, aren't you the kid from ____? I'm ___, nice to meet you!" And if all else fails {which it WONT!!} you always have us to escape reality. But still, good luck! I have a feeling you won't need it :)
reply about 1 hour
skylar245
skylar245 posted in Friends:
I'm joining a new school in august because of the 2020 vision, But the only people joining me are my bullies and my BFF, Alyssa. Actully, She might not even come! I barley had any friends at my old school because I was to "nerdy"! I'm scared that no one will like me because I ruined everything at my old school! please someone send advice!
reply about 2 hours
LittleHeartz
LittleHeartz posted in Friends:
I know it can be quite embarrassing sometimes when you want to invite your friends on this site. But just give it a try. Tell them about the cool features we get and tell how fun you have and stuff. I am sure if they really take your opinion seriously, they won't bother about the name 'kidzworld'. In my school, everybody think that kidzworld is a cool site and stuff.  :)
reply about 20 hours
trinityac
trinityac posted in Friends:
Sadly she isn't your friend... you should make new ones because she is fake
reply 1 day