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Of course anoxeria have to be a disease. Of course, it is in many cases, but does it have to be? What if someone decides to do it? Does the "disease" eventually take over, or does it continue to be a choice?
 

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Some anorexics insist that it is a lifestyle and that they have the right to live it, but I consider anything that is so harmful to your body a disorder.
 

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Nyx said:
Some anorexics insist that it is a lifestyle and that they have the right to live it.
Now, THAT is scary! :eek

It stems from a warped image of oneself - who'd want to live toward a messed-up thought? :stu
 

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Anorexics are full of crap. I was myself. I mean, I'm happy I'm thin now, er, stayed thin. If I got fat, though, I'd probably just excercise a lot. I don't see anorexica or any eating disorder as an innocent diet or "lifestyle choice." Where would you draw the line? Anorexics are not healthy. They see fat before they see themselves. What normal people would see as characteristic in someone, anorexics see as ugly fat. Everyday we see imperfect bodies. Anorexics don't see that. They see everything in terms of body fat. What we all would think of as normal and thin doesn't get by in that mindset. Fat is not having a visible rib cage. It's only inevitable that people with eating disorders would establish a message board that justifies their "lifestyle", as they are completely full of s--- and need something like that to continue living in denial. The parody sites say it all. "Pro-Scurvy" and what have you.

I read my post over and realized it may sound harsh, and hypocritical, since I have SA and post on a message baord, although I don't see posting here as justifying an irrational disorder... sure, I don't really want to change much, but I come here because I can relate to others and vent. I'm just saying. I starved myself till I would blank out for 5-10 seconds with no vision. the arguments I've heard by anorexics remind me of myself when I was 13-14 and what I would have said.
 

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I'm pretty sure I was anorexic during my adolescence. Not the nervosa kind, with the distorted body image, though. I just didn't have much of an appetite and didn't eat. I think it was part of my depression, which was worse then than in any other period of my life so far. I was 6'0" and around 120-130 lbs my last 2 years of high school. I was extremely self-conscious of how skinny I was, and hated it.

During the first year of college I started eating more. I gained 30 lbs. That's where I've been for the last 8 or 9 years: 6'1, around 155-165 lbs. I'm still thin but have a minimally acceptable BMI. I think my bad posture (slouch) and poor upper body strength are permanent results of my poor adolescent eating habits, and I may develop more problems down the road....

But I should add, the important thing is I knew it wasn't healthy. In the case of anorexia nervosa, the sufferer typically has an extremly distorted self-image and simply cannot recognize what she (usually she) is really doing to herself.
 

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BeNice said:
Anorexics are full of crap. I was myself. I mean, I'm happy I'm thin now, er, stayed thin. If I got fat, though, I'd probably just excercise a lot. I don't see anorexica or any eating disorder as an innocent diet or "lifestyle choice." Where would you draw the line? Anorexics are not healthy. They see fat before they see themselves. What normal people would see as characteristic in someone, anorexics see as ugly fat. Everyday we see imperfect bodies. Anorexics don't see that. They see everything in terms of body fat. What we all would think of as normal and thin doesn't get by in that mindset. Fat is not having a visible rib cage. It's only inevitable that people with eating disorders would establish a message board that justifies their "lifestyle", as they are completely full of s--- and need something like that to continue living in denial. The parody sites say it all. "Pro-Scurvy" and what have you.

I read my post over and realized it may sound harsh, and hypocritical, since I have SA and post on a message baord, although I don't see posting here as justifying an irrational disorder... sure, I don't really want to change much, but I come here because I can relate to others and vent. I'm just saying. I starved myself till I would blank out for 5-10 seconds with no vision. the arguments I've heard by anorexics remind me of myself when I was 13-14 and what I would have said.
Don't you think that the same irrationalities are true of people who suffer with SA? What's the difference between irrationally thinking that you are "fat" and irrationally thinking that other people are passing negative judgments about you when they're probably not?

Please speak about yourself, instead of putting down an entire group of people.
 

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Totally, Johnny. anorexia was part of my whole messed up mindset. I'm still not fully past my body image issues. I just get pissed off when I hear stuff from anorexics like "we live in a society with an obesity epidemic", like that has anything to do with them. I would have said the same thing if there were anorexic discussion forums around then. I'm putting myself down, if anything. I was and am full of crap.

james wrote:

"But I should add, the important thing is I knew it wasn't healthy. In the case of anorexia nervosa, the sufferer typically has an extremly distorted self-image and simply cannot recognize what she (usually she) is really doing to herself"

I don't know. I pretty much knew what I was doing to myself, but I felt being thin was more important because it would bring me success and acceptance with others.
 

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BeNice, I don't blame you for not wanting to indulge anorexics who try to justify their illness. I was anorexic for a long time, and although I am at a normal weight now, I still have problems with my body image too. Maybe it's not my place to say so, but I don't think you should put yourself down either. You were just wounded, like all of us here, and anorexia has been a way for you (and me) to attempt to cope with our wounds. I hope you can get more comfortable with your body image and, more importantly, heal from your wounds.
 

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As a severe sufferer of anorexia, I feel wounded by some comments on this post. It IS most definitely a mental illness....not some VAIN self-indulgent quest for absolute thinness. There is so much more to the pyschosis than just weight and fear of gaining. The entire identity and safety structure is formed around weight.....why???? NOT AT ALL FOR LIGHT REASONS....but as is for sa and apd, a coping tool for life. As a child and teenager growing up in a very abusive, totalitarian/perfectionistic, out of control unsafe environment, it was the only way I could life. Early on, I hid in a closet day and night.....later I learned how to live in that closet by retreating to a place in my mind where nothing else mattered but my weight. The world falling apart - my mom's rageful fits, my dad's heavy drinking, etc - couldn't affect me as long as I was solely focused on my weight and not eating. It was an absolute escape mechanism that kept me sheltered and well protected from "them."
When I ran away in my late teens, I was able to come out of my "closet"/mind for a little while. I let myself gain some weight (although still very controlled about my weight, but I could eat without the intense panic following) and did quite well for a few years. Then I got married and shortly after, found myself living once again in an unsafe world. I relapsed hard almost a decade ago. Recovery has been extremely difficult because I still live with that man, and now I'm even more fearful of people's anger and unpredictability.

ITS NOT A DISEASE OF THINNESS AT ALL COSTS.....ITS SAFETY AT ALL COSTS. For some people, its CONTROL at all costs, or shelter, or some other type of intense need for self-protection. We become deluded by the thinness because the disease becomes the protector, and giving up the quest for thinness then becomes quite scary because the world is too unsafe to live in without having our protection surrounding our minds.

I'm not a pro-anorexia advocate. I'm just trying to give you a picture of the rationality inside one anorexics mind and to show you that this disease is just as valid- self-destructive, all-consuming, all-lying - as any other mental disorder people suffer from. If I could easily choose to not be thin or to not control my weight through extreme measures, I would, just as IF I could choose to believe that people aren't scary, mean, unpredicatable, angry, inherently abusive, scornful, etc, I would. Getting past all the irrationalities of our disorder is difficult. I've made a lot of progress in my years of treatment, but I still get triggered and afraid, and then I retreat back into my closet again.




In answer to the question of whether a person can mimic anorexia nervosa and then eventually become so is maybe. Why would a person willingly choose to starve themselves? Is there something they're running from? I've heard time and tme again about "diets gone wrong," but I believe that in order for someone who simply starts out choosing anorexia to get trapped in anorexia nervosa, there is a problem much deeper inside residing in their minds. You don't fear fat to this extreme for no reason (is that a sentence???).....just like we don't fear people or rejection to the extreme we do because we choose to.....something starts the imbalance and excessive need for the safety mechanisms we employ.
 

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Thank you for offering your insight and personal experience, Picasso. I think we needed input from someone who has struggled with AN. All I know about AN I learned in 9th grade health class! Thank you for increasing my understanding.
 

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IMO anorexia is a disease just like any other kind of addiction, and from what I know it is a form of addiction if you're intentionally starving yourself. At least for me, it was the addiction of wanting to look "perfect" and regardless of what my weight was, I always wanted to be thinner. I'm 5-5 and my thinnest was 110 pounds, and I loved it even though everyone told me I was too thin. I'm heavier now and I think I am considered a normal weight but I still have issues with my weight. I don't think being anorexic is a lifestyle per se. I think it's unhealthy and destructive.

I have two friends who have recovered from anorexia. Both are about my height, a bit taller actually (they are both 5-6) and their lowest weights were in the high 70's. For someone who is 5-6 ... or anyone 5 feet or taller, weighing 80 pounds is a dangerous weight. The thing with anorexia is that no matter what your weight is you just want to be thinner. Fortunately I was not at a dangerous weight like being 5-5 and 80 pounds, but that was the case with me. I was constantly told how thin I was but I still wanted to be thinner and that's part of the addiction/disease.

Just my thoughts on the subject.
 

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It IS most definitely a mental illness
.but as is for sa and apd, a coping tool for life.
I agree. I had to be thin so I could feel like I was on top, on the higher level with everyone else. To be honest, I had self-esteem when I walked around in the mall with my new thin self, but then I would come home and look in the mirror and hate the fat in my cheeks. I think we have eating disorders for different reasons, and mine is a little different that what you described. I wanted to be thin, like I said, to feel like I would be treated as a normal person I guess.. as in I'm on the same playing field as everyone else, and not fat. I felt stupid. I felt like people treated me (and I still feel this way) like a joke, as a piece of comedy. I always acted funny out of insecurity. I noticed I was fat by the time I was 12. I sat inside playing video games and eating Archway cookies and had few friends. After a while of seeing the other kids my age with their first girlfriends and then seeing how skinny they were in the locker room, I did some bad math in my head and I thought "I need to be skinny too".. Maybe my experience as a guy being anorexic is different than as a girl, I dunno. I never wanted to offend anyone. When I say anorexics are full of crap, I mean I was! I used to tell my mom how important being healthy was, and at one point would even tell her she was fat. The "healthiness" excuse was always it, even when I crawled up the stairs one morning and complained that I was blanking out and she starting crying that I need to eat. That's when I realized I was full of it, but I kept doing it.

I am upset by the mindset, I guess. It hurts me that people need to be thin. It's why I get pissed off when people try to conform into any kind of "scene" like indie rock or arty crowds, because I see how much they are trying, and I hate it. I talked to a girl a few years ago on IM and phone and she really thought being thin was important, and it frustrated me. She hung out with all of these spoiled artsy New York kids, and they didn't think anything of her condition. Didn't even notice it. hey proabably thought she was beautiful and cool looking like them while they were feeling all great about themselves. She was eating saltine crackers and celery everyday.
 

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I've talked to people who who think that being anorexic is only about being thin, but it's definitely true that people don't go to such extremes ONLY because they want to be thin. If it's just about being "healthy", it seems like a "normal" person would stop at a healthy weight but going to such extremes to me means something else is going on behind the desire to be thin. Like you said, who would choose to be like that ... just like why would we choose to be so uncomfortable around people?
 

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Do any of you guys/gals think there has been a correlation between your SA and your developing anorexia? I think there was one for me. I was actually IN treatment for my SA (although there was no real treatment for SA at the time...not even the term "SA") when I became anorexic. I think, for me, I felt so bad about myself for being socially phobic...like an absolute piece of sh*t...that I wanted to try to "perfect" myself, starting with my body. I know that, for most guys, the ideal body is "built" and muscular, but to me, I was more concerned with not being fat - i.e., not having any flaws or imperfections. I felt that I was so flawed as a human being for being socially phobic that I couldn't tolerate anything else "wrong" with me, like actually having some heathly "meat" on my body.

They define being anorexic as being something like 1/3 or 1/4 of your ideal body weight (I forget which one), but I agree that anorexia has more to do with a mindset than is has to do with being thin. Like I said, I'm at a normal weight now, but I still have "anorexic thinking" and worry about my body image. It's much improved, though. I'd just like to lose a few pounds in my stomach and build a little upper body strength. Of course, I now have chronic fatigue (not to mention GI problems), probably, in part, from having been anorexic so long, so it's hard to build the muscle I want to. And although I don't want an anorexic body anymore, I never really gained weight by choice. Time and age just took it's course, and I can no longer tolerate starving myself, not to mention over-exercising my death to maintain such an incredibly low weight. It's stupid, but, in a way, I feel like a failure as an anorexic (because I had devoted my life to it for so long), but who wants to spend their life doing that anyway?
 

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JohnnyEnnui,

I would say that in your case, being a failure as an anorexic is a good thing. You are here to tell your story! The first person I tend to think about is Karen Carpenter - she wasn't so lucky and had a voice unlike many singers since.
 

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JohnnyEnnui
that story is pretty much my story......as it pertains to anorexia and eating disorders in general
 

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Huh, I didn't know there were people who thought that anorexia wasn't a problem. I knew that people eat food to stay alive in the first grade, go figure.
 
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