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Pro-Anorexia sites?!

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
There is actually a good-sized amunt of sites out there where people are pushing for anorexia to be viewed as a liestyle, as opposed to being an eating disorder. As opposed to the usual support AWAY from self-starvation due to a poor self image, it offers support FOR it. I knew the internet held some strange and questionable content, but this easily wins a place on my top five list. What are your opinions on this?

Here is a wikipedia article explaining it. It has a web md article linked at the bottom. For the actual sites themselves, simply google pro-anorexia or pro-ana.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-ana
post #2 of 25
I'm very familiar with these sites, as I have (had) several students with anorexia or bulimia, and like to keep up on the disease. Recently, one died of heart failure. She was a fan of such sites, and, despite in-patient treatment at a clinic for eating disorders, starved herself to the point where her hair and teeth were falling out.
I had anorexia at 16/17, so I know all about skewed perceptions of yourself. Luckily, such sites offering advice on how to starve yourself didn't exist in those days, and I'd like to see search engines not list them.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I'm very familiar with these sites, as I have (had) several students with anorexia or bulimia, and like to keep up on the disease. Recently, one died of heart failure. She was a fan of such sites, and, despite in-patient treatment at a clinic for eating disorders, starved herself to the point where her hair and teeth were falling out.
I had anorexia at 16/17, so I know all about skewed perceptions of yourself. Luckily, such sites offering advice on how to starve yourself didn't exist in those days, and I'd like to see search engines not list them.

That is sad. I have been reading one of the message boards, and can honestly say that I feel heavily sorry for these people. Some of them seem to view outside sources trying to help them feel better about themselves as oppressors who are trying to hurt them, and others know all the risks, but simply don't care about them as long as they'll be thin..
post #4 of 25
I looked at one of those websites, bluedragonfly.com I think and she actually had a diet plan listed. I couldn't help but think that at least she was encouraging some food intake, even if it was under 400 calories a day- it did involve eating some protein, and mostly fruits and veggies. She also stated that anorexia and bulemia were psychological disorders and not a life style. I imagine that some of these sites are malicious and some are made by people who are trying to find some sort of solidarity with others who are suffering from the same condition. There are pro-suicide websites out there as well. I remember watching an episode of Law and Order where a woman committed suicide after participating in a pro-suicide website/chat group. The maker of the website was tried for her murder. She kept saying that the reason for the website was to provide support to others and that it was therapudic. I don't know if that could ever be true or not. When I was in abuse recovery I listened to a lot of music that talked about wanting to die and killing your abuser and that certainly helped me, but I can't think of any websites that said, "hey, you were sexually abused so lets cut ourselves and go get raped!!" The whole thing is just weird. The Bluedragonfly girl makes rosaries. I think I'll say some prayers for her tonight when I pray mine.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl
I looked at one of those websites, bluedragonfly.com I think and she actually had a diet plan listed. I couldn't help but think that at least she was encouraging some food intake, even if it was under 400 calories a day- it did involve eating some protein, and mostly fruits and veggies. She also stated that anorexia and bulemia were psychological disorders and not a life style. I imagine that some of these sites are malicious and some are made by people who are trying to find some sort of solidarity with others who are suffering from the same condition. There are pro-suicide websites out there as well. I remember watching an episode of Law and Order where a woman committed suicide after participating in a pro-suicide website/chat group. The maker of the website was tried for her murder. She kept saying that the reason for the website was to provide support to others and that it was therapudic. I don't know if that could ever be true or not. When I was in abuse recovery I listened to a lot of music that talked about wanting to die and killing your abuser and that certainly helped me, but I can't think of any websites that said, "hey, you were sexually abused so lets cut ourselves and go get raped!!" The whole thing is just weird. The Bluedragonfly girl makes rosaries. I think I'll say some prayers for her tonight when I pray mine.

the problem i have with it is that for every site promoting food consunption, there are about ten promoting the complete opposite, whether it be in the form of simply starving, living off a grape and a gallon of water for a whole day, or chwing and spitting out food. Support is good to have, but not if it is support of a potentially life-threatening problem you have. If suicide hotlines told everyone that called to just kill themselves because no one telling them that life could get better actually understood what depression was, I doubt the person's problem would be solved, or that they would seek help. That, on a slighly less extreme scale, is what I see happening in most of the pro-anorexia sites/ communities that I've looked at today. (first time i've ever heard of them)
post #6 of 25
I had a look at some of those pro-ana websites, and I remember seeing something on an episode of Strong Medicine and this prompted me to look at that time and looking at those again, leads me to think, people who have a disorder of some kind are going to need some kind of support, and anorexics are one of them, as well as any other person who has an eating disorder. But I also see some aspects on the sites helping anorexics towards recovery so its not all bad. This blue dragonfly site owner has made some beautiful bracelets and some of them are for people who are in recovery. I would like to read them at depth before I make a judgement. It is the same with that pro suicide website esrgirl is referring to. The internet is an amazing thing, you can find all sorts of things there, while some may not be so great and others are wonderful, the fact is, the information is there, whether we like it or not.
post #7 of 25
Strange.
And sad.
These people hate themselves, and want some validation for that self-hate. If it weren't on the internet, they'd find it some other way.
Very sad.
post #8 of 25
Whilst I do think they are stupid, what ever happened to freedom of speech?! I don't think that they should be taken down as an eating disorder is gained through going on a website, the seeds would have already been there in the girls minds. And these sites actually help people by showing them that they are not alon and may prevent self harm and suicide attempts.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
Whilst I do think they are stupid, what ever happened to freedom of speech?!


I just wanted to comment on this because it's something we hear about a LOT. Since almost every aspect of the internet is privately owned, there is no such thing as true Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Speech as most define it, as the law of the land, protects speech from being infringed by the government. However, an ISP can make its own rules about what kinds of content they will allow on the websites it hosts. Owners of websites can decide on their own Rules for their content. Because it is all privately owned, the individual owners of every part can make their own rules, even if those rules are more restrictive that what is allowed by law. For instance, Anne decided at the outset that TCS Forums will be family-friendly, and just overall a friendly place. So we don't allow cursing, off-colored jokes, flaming of each other, personal vendettas, etc. There are lots of forums out there that really do let you say whatever you want, including slamming another poster or a culture as a whole. And there are plently of ISPs who really don't care what you put on your website as long as you pay them their fees - even if it's horribly disgusting pictures, how to build a bomb, or how to kill yourself either quickly (pro-suicide) or slowly (pro-ana).

These sites are not likely to get shut down unless the territory (state/province/country) where the site is hosted outlaws that type of content. Even then, you can get a host anywhere in the world, in a country where it isn't illegal. That's why there is still such a proliferation of truly disgusting websites (i.e. bestiality, bonsai cats (although it IS a hoax), how to build a suitcase nuke, etc.) out there.

End Hijack.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
Whilst I do think they are stupid, what ever happened to freedom of speech?! I don't think that they should be taken down as an eating disorder is gained through going on a website, the seeds would have already been there in the girls minds. And these sites actually help people by showing them that they are not alon and may prevent self harm and suicide attempts.

A lot of them promote anorexia, complete with tips on how to hide your lack of food consumption from others. Is anorexia not self harm?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
A lot of them promote anorexia, complete with tips on how to hide your lack of food consumption from others. Is anorexia not self harm?
Yes but without treatment wouldnt they be doing this anyway?

I just read an article about this and the argument was for why the sites should be allowed to stay. Many people said that these sites stopped them from committing suicide or hurting themselves as well as starving themselves.

To be honest, the majority of the 'tips' are nothing that you couldnt figure out for yourself and I doubt many people wouldnt have thought of them already.

The sites also have tips about how to be anorexic and healthy ( a contradiciton i know) and warn sufferers of the dangers of laxatives and throwing up meals.

I'm in no way pro-anorexia but I do believe that people should be allowed to choose whether or not they should recover.
post #12 of 25
I agree with Nicky. Whether we like it or not, Anorexia (or any other eating disorder) is here to stay. Those sites may actually help some people, and especially on the road to recovery. They do have areas on the sites about recovery.
post #13 of 25
Plus, a non-anorexic reading them can get into the mind set of the sufferer and might be able to better see how to help them.

(Thats what parents of sufferers said in the article)_

Also, the sites have helped bring anorexia out in the open and raise awareness of it which could potentially help a lot of people.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
I did not say that no positive was to be found. But can you honestly tell me that NO one out there will feel justified in their anorexia and shun medical help because of this? (because quite a few of the sites say that recovery is the road to hideous fat, although some do have very calorie-decicient diet plans, and not all care about the health issues that laxatives and diet pills can cause)
post #15 of 25
I remember about a year ago teens in the Detroit area were having a secret anorexic society that was uncovered. You only knew if the other person was a member based on a red rubber bracelet (similar to those that are pink that support Breast Cancer, the yellow for Troops, etc).

I do feel bad for people that think this way. I was watching a show on VH-1 and the Anorexic Hollywood. One person made the comment that Mary Kate Olsen opened up a new world in Hollywood. When she admitted that she had the eating disorder it was like her saying "This is a wrong way for us actresses to live".
I've known about 3 people in my life with eating disorders. One was a girlfriend from my neighborhood. I was a year ahead of her, so when I was in college I missed her starving herself her senior year. After being released from the hospital and seeing her again, she looked horrible. Her upper chest stuck out farther than her breasts, etc. She just didn't look human. She's better now and actually went to college to become a nutritionist and help people go through what she went through.
Another if my boyfriend (before we started dating). However part of his was bulmia and also his diabetes. He didn't realise that he had diabetes at the time so when he ate anything (especially a lot of carbs) he would throw it back up. Once his body got in the habit he would just automatically throw meals back up.
Finally was a friend of of my BF who use to be anorexic (she was disgusting thin even after a year of her recovery, so I never believe she was fully recovered). Turns our she didn't take proper care of herself when she was recovering and her blood sugar came back tested for around 300 (normal is suppose to be around 80-120). That's another thing too...if you don't take proper care of yourself when you do recover, you increase your chances of diabetes/
post #16 of 25
Another thing to remember is that this issue isn't global.
Its a Western Disorder and phenomemon. People in third world countries don't suffer from Anorexia. When you attempt to explain Anorexia or Bulimia to someone in a rural African nation, they view us as lunatics.

Thus, let's take a look at what is more dangerous than pro-ana sites...
Commericals, airbrushed models, and unrealistic body shape targeting our society. However, its still personal choice whether you are starving or purgin or not.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
However, its still personal choice whether you are starving or purgin or not.
Sorry, but I vehemently disagree, being a former anorexic, having personally witnessed two girls (a classmate and now a student) literally starve themselves to death, and, as an educator, dealing with this issue every day. This goes far beyond personal choice. It's a compulsion/addiction. Calling it a matter of choice is simply playing down the disease to a very dangerous degree. You can't just "reason" with anorexics/bulimics, because they aren't in control of their actions. That's a mistake that far too many family members, friends, and teachers/coaches/whatever make, and it's far too often fatal. Blaming it on models/ads, etc., is also too simplistic. It's often a question of control, so people who find themselves confronted with familial, school, cultural, or personal problems resort to it in an effort to relieve their anxieties. Sometimes it's a refusal to accept the responsibilities of adulthood/sexuality.
post #18 of 25
Don't get me wrong. I am not blaming anyone else for one's own issues or disorders/diseases. But my point was that just as with a drug addict, you are not going to be able to physically force them into changing their preffered personal choices, no matter how harmful they may be.

You can intervene all you want with the best intentions but until that person seeks and chooses help, there isn't anything another can do. In that way, yes, it is a personal choice.
post #19 of 25
I just wanna say that people with anorexia really cant help what they do,right now im suffering from a similar problem,my life revolves around what i eat and how much exercise i do and its somthing that i cant help. After i had my son i was so desperate to lose weight that i only ate about 500 calories a day,i lost 14lbs in a week my weight went down to 109 lbs and im 5'7 also my periods stopped for 7 months,its just all in my head i know that it sounds silly but i just couldnt stop. I got over it for a year but now the same thing is happening again.When i was 13 i had a friend who was really skinny and she always said that i was overweight and i wasnt and i think thats what has started it off.Somthing as small as that has ruined my life.
post #20 of 25
Makes me sick. sick sick that peopl advoate such horrible disorders. However. It is something that is here to stay. and wont go away.
post #21 of 25
I lived in a sober house until recently, and one of my roommates there was recovering from an eating disorder as well as drug addiction. The things she used to do were horrible. She was in a sorority at an Ivy League school, and a large group of them were bulimic. They would all binge together, and then go off to their separate rooms to purge. This girl (She weighs about 110 pounds and is maybe 5'4") could eat an entire pizza by herself in a matter of minutes. And then it would come right back up.

When it really got bad, she wouldn't leave the room.. just vomit into bags and jars. When it was time for her to go to rehab, her father helped her clean out her dorm room and was horrified.

I do not believe this is an issue of choice. I think its a disease. My roommate was miserable in her lifestyle, just as I was miserable in mine when I was drinking and using drugs. The only choice one can make in this situation is whether or not to ask for help.

Even after being "in recovery" for nearly a year, my roommate still looks at old pictures of herself when she was little more than a skeleton, and thinks that she looked better then than she does now. I am afraid for her.

Sites like this have opened the issue more to the public, which I believe is good, seeing how the disease is so secretive. However, it also "teaches" people how to be anorexic. Of course you can't become anorexic just like that.. but for those predisposed to such behavior, its an open door for them to behave destructively.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by janine&lily
I just wanna say that people with anorexia really cant help what they do,right now im suffering from a similar problem,my life revolves around what i eat and how much exercise i do and its somthing that i cant help. After i had my son i was so desperate to lose weight that i only ate about 500 calories a day,i lost 14lbs in a week my weight went down to 109 lbs and im 5'7 also my periods stopped for 7 months,its just all in my head i know that it sounds silly but i just couldnt stop. I got over it for a year but now the same thing is happening again.When i was 13 i had a friend who was really skinny and she always said that i was overweight and i wasnt and i think thats what has started it off.Somthing as small as that has ruined my life.
Your life isn't over. Don't LET it be ruined. It sounds like you need some help and you should get it. YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY. Please hurry though. I'm 46 and was just told that I need 2000 mg of calcium because I am losing bone density. With the history you just described, it sounds like you will need a lot of nutrition. Please take care.
post #23 of 25
AWW thankyou so much for your lovely post rockcat.Thankyou for caring,that means alot to me. Nobody knows about my problem this is the first time iv told anyone.Even my husband doesnt know but he does suspect theres a problem.Right now it doesnt feel like i can ever stop what im doing to myself and it makes me worry because i know it can affect all of your insides and in the future i might not be able to have anymore babys if i carry on because it stops you getting pregnant.
But i suppose il have to see what happens and thanx again for your reply.
post #24 of 25
Sad is about the only word to describe how I feel about it.

I think the sites come from sufferers who don't want to admit that they really have a problem. They see themselves as being totally in control, when of course they are not.

I don't believe in censorship but I do wish for a campaign to educate parents and educators and for pro-anorexia sites to be included in Internet filter software.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by janine&lily
AWW thankyou so much for your lovely post rockcat.Thankyou for caring,that means alot to me. Nobody knows about my problem this is the first time iv told anyone.Even my husband doesnt know but he does suspect theres a problem.Right now it doesnt feel like i can ever stop what im doing to myself and it makes me worry because i know it can affect all of your insides and in the future i might not be able to have anymore babys if i carry on because it stops you getting pregnant.
But i suppose il have to see what happens and thanx again for your reply.
I know how much courage it takes to tell someone...I just hope you can find that courage. It's too hard to do it alone. It's like building a house with only one nail. But there are people who know what you are going through and can help you to be healthy and happy. You deserve it.
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