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Is Anorexia a lifestyle choice or a life threatening mental disorder?

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posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 09:35 AM
On another thread it was discussed that anorexia and other "mental disorders" were being promoted as fashion symbols with a sub-culture of jewelery and adornments alerting others that you share their lifestyle choice. examples on that thread were bracelets and butterfly pendants, with colors varying in your choice of "body mutilation". I think from my wording here it becomes very clear that I am biaised in this regard - I believe that Anorexia is a mental disorder that is life threatening and totally destructive. I also believe that people promoting this illness amongst young women are as guilty as dr kervorkian of assisting a homicide. I would however like to open this discussion to others to decide whether this is (1) a lifestyle choice? and (2) whether promoting this lifestyle choice is a criminal act?

Please note from the extract below that this is not a support group that helps you get better, it is rather a support group to help you stay in the clutches of the "disease ". It even supplies you with ways to fool doctors. It further does not implicitly but more covertly to break the law as this is your choice to do so. it horrifies me that these sites exist because I have been a victim of anorexia and my parents and friends suffered with me.

(first-time visitors, please read)

This is a pro-ana website. That means this is a place where anorexia is regarded as a lifestyle and a choice, not an illness or disorder. There are no victims here.

If you regard anorexia exclusively as a disease, see yourself as the "victim" of an "eating disorder" in need of "recovery", or are seeking "recovery," it is strongly suggested that you leave this site immediately. IF you choose to ignore this warning, you WILL be triggered by the content of this site. I REFUSE to be held responsible for YOUR decisions since I am not able to make YOUR judgment calls for you.

If you are under the age of 18, current laws in your geographical region may require you to obtain parental consent to view the contents of this website. You and you alone -- not me -- are responsible for determining if such laws exist and whether you obey them. "

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 11:27 AM

Originally posted by Angelic1
I believe that Anorexia is a mental disorder that is life threatening and totally destructive. I also believe that people promoting this illness amongst young women are as guilty as dr kervorkian of assisting a homicide.

Angelic1, on one hand you state that "Is Anorexia a lifestyle choice or a life threatening mental disorder?" yet you compare it to homicide. That doesn't cut it in my book.

But, i do agree that peer group pressure due to all media (tv, print, mobile phones, net ect) place a
sub-conscience burden on certain people to be 'acceptable'. This is a real problem.


posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 08:20 PM
It's difficult to believe that such sites exist. If a site supports anoxeria it's producers clearly have a mental disorder themselves. I mean, Food it Good! 6 Billion people can't be wrong! Anorexia is like suicide, not certain if supporting it is like homicide, but it's certainly wrong. If you only eat a small amount of bread and survive off of cigarettes and coffee, you're certainly not doing yourself any favors... But then again some people on this site are bound to say that "nutrition" is a government conspiracy and that it's part of the NWO, Halliburton, and the Bush administration.

[edit on 5-3-2005 by AlphaHumana]

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 08:41 PM
A good place to start is to read the essay on the site Angelic linked to, regarding this very topic.

Is it a lifestyle choice or a disease?

The essay brings up addictions and I think it's a fair comparison.
Is smoking a lifestyle choice or a disease?

We have the ability to decide what, when, and how much to eat, just as we have the ability to decide to have a cigarette or not.

It's when we lose control of our ability to make a choice - for whatever reason - that there is a problem.

Therefore I answer - both.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 08:52 PM
I have a daughter who is combining purging and starvation. She is 5'10" and 120lbs. That is fat to her.

I would like to pull out the larynx of people like these that promote such evil stuff. My 18yr old is young and impressionable. I know violence is not a Christian thing. It would be hard for me to turn the other cheek here.

Thanks for the post but I hope my daughter does not find this site.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 08:53 PM
I agree that it is a lifestyle choice that becomes a disease.
Overeating could be seen the same way.

These women think of themselves as the "elite" which confuses me because I thought many of these girls and women had self-esteem issues.
Bizarre site.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 09:09 PM
Starving yourself to get thin is a choice. Anorexia is a disease. Most people would be able to follow the suggestions on this site and never end up with permanent problems. However, for some it becomes an uncontrolable obsession, an addiction - no different than any other. Those sussecptible people that frequent sites like these are playing with fire. They will get thin, but they won't see it, they will NEVER see themselves as thin. Some will live, some will die.

I suppose people have the right to host sites like these, but it's such a sad thing to see.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 09:23 PM
When anorexia and bulimia came around it was a trend, I was in the middle of it, I knew other girls that used to vomit up and the ones than did not eat at all.

Back then (early 80s) most of my friends had one disorder or other even me.

Exercise was not enough I tried to starve and I tried to vomit but I was not successful with any of them.

So I became a diet pill junky until my 30s.

Yes I agree that back in the time was lifestyle and a trend that became a mental disorder when girls started dying.

If anybody knows somebody that has a problem it should see medical help.

Looking back at that time now I feel that is was just the pressure of pursing perfection because thinness was in.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 09:33 PM
It is indeed sad to see young girls go through this. Being "skinny" seems to be important, not being healthy - an "athletic" body on a girl is good - "skinny" is not - people that are athletic are healthy because they exercise as well as eating well... you can't be athletic if you don't eat well and move around. Weight control, to me, seems to be a simply mathematic - calories in and calories out (by out, I mean burning said calories through activity, not through purging or starving.) Reagan, I wish the best for your daughter (and I gotta say, I love your screenname and Bismarck quote sig!) I am not qualified to give medical advice, but perhaps you can find a clip of those cute little Olsen girls when they were on Leno (I think it was Leno)... The one with anorexia looked almost ghastly, but the other one looked quite lovely, contrary to what many young women may think their practices yield. I also feel it is a choice, like the above poster (as with smoking cigarettes, etc.) but perhaps only at the beginning. I am fortunate enough not to have had to deal with any "addiction", but I have seen it much and it is indeed heartbreaking.

posted on Mar, 5 2005 @ 10:27 PM
I believe that just like with mutilation, some people are hard-wired with the mental illness, they do it from an early age without even knowing why, and some people start doing it because they want to be thin and popular or what have you and it becomes chronic. Of course both are just as serious.

And don't think that just because it doesn't happen in as large a number that guys don't suffer from this disorder as well.

posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:48 PM
My daughter suffers from Bipolar disorder, borderline traits (massive cutter), anerexia, and bolemia. She has quite a collection of butterflies going. This has all happened in the last 6 months. In and out of the hospital for suicide attempts and seizures caused by the drugs used to treat her. I do not want sympathy. I want answers.

She saw the Olson twins and thought the half dead one was attractive. Same thing for the bony hilton twig. No I do not find her attractive. my 6'4" 200lb frame would crush her. I can not imagine her and that Bears player. What did he do lay down and spin her like a top?

I am not a person that usually fears. I am usually very decisive and able to make problems go away one way or another. Now I am helpless. She turned 18 and I have no authority.

This is my reason for asking about this stuff. I think that which is not good is evil. I want to stop this evil. Beware what your chilfdren are doing on the internet. that where she gets this pro anna demonic sh...t

posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:54 PM

Originally posted by sanctum
But, i do agree that peer group pressure due to all media (tv, print, mobile phones, net ect) place asub-conscience burden on certain people to be 'acceptable'. This is a real problem.

Bingo Sanc
I transport anorexics all the time and its a combination of the two.

posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 11:02 PM

Originally posted by Reaganwasourgreatest
My daughter suffers from Bipolar disorder, borderline traits (massive cutter), anerexia, and bolemia. She has quite a collection of butterflies going.

If feel for her. I have severe bipolar disorder, and cut just about every place that could be cut. I've been on every psych. med known to man, from Ativan to xanax. Lithium has helped, but I can't keep a job or a girlfriend because any stress causes me to blow my top. Not phisically towards others but verbally, though I still do hurt myself.

As for anorexia, I'm a guy, small frame/build and from grade school I thought I was fat. Being bipolar and not knowing until 2 years ago when I was 27 didn't help. People thought I was weird and made fun of me. I was highly insecure, my 3rd grade teacher called me her little old man. I didn't know why I got picked on so I used to think it was me, my appearence.

By my 20's my average weight was 130 or so, I am 5'9" btw. I was put on all sorts of anti depressants because they couldnt figure out what was wrong with me. None of them helped. Zoloft made me gain 60 pounds, and I totally lost it. I starved myself for months eventually reaching 110 pounds. Even made myself throw up often. I looked like a concentration camp victim but I still thought I was fat.

After being in the hospital for a month for other reasons I started gaining weight. I leveled off at 130 again and was ok with it. Then after another bout of cutting and suicidal idolation they put me on another medication, can't remember the one. It made me gain 60 pounds yet again. So now the process has started itself all over again. The doctors don't know what to do and I have taken every pharmaceutical route.

Like I said I can totally sympathize with your daughter. It's even worse sometimes as a guy because people, even doctors don't think a guy can have these "female" problems. It's not something we want to do conciously, most know the implications. But just as with my manic episodes I can't control it. Like after cutting, I'd think why did I do this, I'd be embarresed to walk around with huige scabs on my arms, but I'd do it again.

And medication isn't always a savior, the side effects can outweigh the benifits, as was the case with all the anti-depressants I took. Without lithium I'd probably be dead by now, but it doesn't stop everything. But pills don't work, therapy sure didn't do anything, I even had ECT treatments. The doctors have run out of options and after years of suffering I don't have much hope for a "normal" future.

Sorry this was rambling, I just hope I can show there's other out there who know how it feels.

posted on Apr, 7 2005 @ 11:06 PM
*shakes head in dismay* This is probably the most disturbing thing I have seen in awhile. I don't understand how anyone can see this as a "lifestyle" a "deathstyle" perhaps because that exactly what is happening. They are causing their bodies to slowly eat them from the inside out. It's the same with a lot of the fad diets out there. Your body is a very delicate structure which requires certain amounts of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars. You mess with the structure and it's gonna fail on you. Peer pressure, looking at magazines with computer touched up models, and other advertising methods have made women feel like they are not beautiful enough. Trust me you are all beautiful in your own way. Be happy, healthy, and true to yourself, that is a good lifestyle to follow.

posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 12:17 AM
As per the qeustion in which is the title.
No I dont think its a lifestyle choice, it is a mental disorder, maybe at first it is a peer-pressured lifestyle choice, but I believe it to be 90% a mental disease.

posted on Apr, 9 2005 @ 11:59 PM
I think the images that girls are given by the media as beautiful are not cool. Some girls are just too damn skinny. It's one thing to be lean, but boney is not good. My brothers wife got into that starvation type stuff. "I'm chubby," or "I'm fat" I hear.

Some ideas. You can work to help them by educating the person about the reality of what they are doing to themselves physically by starvation. And really make sure that it sinks in, and that person fully understands what they are doing to themselves. I also think that low self-esteem is a part of this. Help the person feel valuable and important. Help them to find things to do in their life that makes them feel important and valuable, and challenges them. This could raise the view they have of themselves, and keep their minds occupied. If they start feeling good about themselves, then they just might forget about this imaginary weight problem that they have.

For example, I have gotten so productive and into something before, that the backpain I used to have ceased to be a problem. You would be amazed at how many problems can arise when you have nothing to do. You also notice how old people who retire and stop being productive can die shortly after. Happy people are those who get things done.


posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 02:12 AM
im 19 and i have struggled with an eating disorder since i was 14. in 7th grade i became anorexic. I have never been over weight (logically i know this) i have a petite frame and my bone structure wouldnt allow me to be of an obese size. i;m currently 5'3 and 105 lbs. I have struggled with depression since 4th grade not bipolar though. Anyway, my anorexia literally seemed to occur over night with me. When i was in 7th grade i was at a school that went from 7-12th grade all in one building. So when i went there i saw all these older girls being perfectionists and i slowly began to nit-pick everything about myself. And one day i just woke up and i said "im not eating until i feel like im beautiful enough" and at this time i was like 80 lbs so obviously not fat at all. I didnt eat anything but ice chips for 5 months. My parents tried to help me and when realizing they couldnt i was was put in the hospital. was in there for about 2 weeks and i wanted to get out so bad i just ate. Finally i began to eat a bit more each day and one day i woke up and said "im not doing this anymore..i hate smarter than this..God give me the strength." and i began to eat. I believe my anorexia stemmed from a need to have control over something in my life and also just being insecure. I now keep myself healthy by eating well and exercising, i am self contious about weight and things but i will never let myself get back to that. I never purged though. Throwing up was not something i was ever willing to try. I think i will always struggle with wanting to be "perfect looking" but i think alot of females have that same problem. I see celebrities on Tv and think man i wish i looked like that. When logically i know that i am beautiful and i have alot intellectually to offer, and ive never been made fun of for being fat or ugly so that helps me to remember too. But when you have depression, the ability to think logically can get snuffed out.

I am not the type of person however, that would EVER be into plastic surgury. this might sound wierd coming from someone that WAS willing to starve themselves to look good, but surgery is too taking it too far for me LOL.

I really think that the media has an unrealistic expectation for how women should look. I mean women like angelina jolie has her photos air brushed and im like "what are they trying to create here" I mean i wear a size 4 in jeans and by hollywood standards they would still need to airbrush my size down in a photo. It's ridiculous.

All i can say to women is what my family and friends tell me "Your beautiful, Your smart, Hold your head high, and 50 years from now whether you were a size 4 or a size 30 wont matter, its what is in your mind. Intelligence and a good heart last forever, beauty fades."

To answer the question mentioned in the title: For me it was a stem from my depression and at 14 you go through a lot of hormonal changes too. But the media and things like that i think help instigate the idea.

So i would say i think overall 90% of the time it is a mental disorder Because for me i literally saw myself in the mirror as over weight but deep down i knew i wasnt. I dont how to explain it.

the other 10% i think people do it because they A. want attention B. It is a lifestyle : for instance Janism practices anorexia as an art form and a way of purification. or there are those Pro anorexia websites which are some of the most craziest idiotic philosophical ideas ive seem in a long time.

Thank you for reading my post

Kind Regards,

Digital Grl

[edit on 10/01/2004 by DigitalGrl]

posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 08:00 AM
wow.............this is a very powerful topic.

first and foremost i'll answer the question...........a lifestyle or a disease.

i think it starts as a lifestyle and blossoms in to a horrendous disease. the images that young women are smacked with daily in the media are just WRONG!!!

the TRUE average woman now wears a size 12 or 14. PERIOD. these twigs that parade the runways and show up in magazines and tv are the ABNORMAL folks NOT the rest of us that are average size.

unlike a couple of the other ladies that posted i was FINE when i was in highschool. was comfortable in my own skin. i sported a size 7 weighed around 125 was 5'6 and was proud of it.

i developed my eating disorder..bulemia when i was POST highschool. i was involved in body building at the time and spent hours staring at myself in the mirror........picking apart every perceived FLAW that i then boyfriend...also a body builder assisted me in trashing every flaw on my with the help
f laxative abuse i was able to drop to a LOVELY in my warped eyes...... size 0 and 104 lbs. all body builders don't abuse laxatives..........but i fell in to the small percentage that did.....i wanted to be LEAN LEAN LEAN..........i also was an exercise addict. if the scale went up so much as a 1/4 lb i would run and run and run until the weight fell off..............lifted weights 6 days a week.........

i would go to the grocery store and plan my event........i would buy everything that i normally would NEVER buy......donuts,candy bars,ice cream,potato chips..............everything that was TABOO to me.....then i'd buy a box or boxes of laxatives and take ALL of them..........i'd go home with my stash...........and start eating and eating and eating and eating. i had the whole thing timed down to i would be finishing my binge by the time the laxatives hit me...........and WHOOSH it was gone.........the calories in my mind were negated because they had passed almost instanteously.

and i thought all this was TOTALLY NORMAL...........NOT

i continued abusing laxatives for about 4 yrs then finally started getting my head together when i got pregnant with my daughter.

i'm now 41.........still 5'6 but i don't focus on the weight thing. i'm considered to be AVERAGE size now and that's fine by me. i worked really really hard to kick my problem.............

everyone isn't so lucky..........and to think there are idiots out there that CONDONE this.................

god that makes me sick.................


posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 11:15 AM
i will have to say that for some maybe it starts out as a lifestyle choice but for me it didnt. I didnt find it beautiful or glamourus to do...but when you dont feel you are good enough ppl will go to extreem measures.

When i told you guys how much i currently weighed i was surprised that wasnt hard for me to do. And it showed me how far i have come since then. Then again, a size 4 isnt big by any means...but for ppl that struggle with body image it can be.

I agree with you guys whole heartly when you say it sickens you to hear about ppl that think this is an art form. And you know what, these celebrities and what not could easily help tame the media on this issue and some kate winslet and others...but too many of them feed into this for whatever reason...maybe its their ego's, they love attention, or they love the power of being able to command the media spotlight. Regardless of the reason it is hurting young women and men.

Kind Regards,
Digital Grl

posted on Apr, 11 2005 @ 11:08 PM
People can be beautiful no matter what their weight is.

I have been attracted to girls that didn't even fit the media's view of beauty.


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