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You can't become anorexic by dieting

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I hear people express fear that their diets are so successful that they'll just keep losing weight until they are anorexic. Anorexia is a terrible, fatal mental illness. You cannot "catch" it. You cannot diet yourself into it. You don't eat less until you are anorexic, you are anorexic first and make food choices BECAUSE of the disease. Anorexics never give a second thought to their health or making "healthy choices" because they are ill and cannot. They literally starve themselves to death. Family members get to watch helplessly while someone they love is committing suicide by starvation.

Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but it pains me to see people tossing the name of a fatal disease around as a synonym for "very thin". It is in reality a dreadful disease.
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    1618 days ago
    So True Nell. emoticon
    2053 days ago
    Sorry, but I have to agree with Amber because this is what doctors and eating disorder clinic has told me – anorexia often starts with diets, which does not mean that dieting always lead to anorexia. But girls who diets sucessfully suddenly feels that they have an area in life where they have control so they loose perspective - and they also (in the beginning) get a lot of praise for etting thinner and having such a great will-power. There is also some biological explanation to this , just as I - as a binger - get rewards in my brain from serotonine and other signal subtstances as I eat, a successful dieter gets this "reward" from not eating and then want more and more and totally looses perspective and balance... it is the same brain substances that makes it so hard for anorectics to eat, it creates anxiety that is very real to them.

    Dieting and anorexia is not the same but research has proven that anorexia is developed from dieting. I think we all agree that binge eating often comes from trying a diet that is too strict, the same goes for anorexia. I am not an anorectic, my goddaughter is and I am diagnosed with BED - Binge Eating Disorder.

    I might also add - your headline "You can´t become anorexic by dieting" is depending on how you decipher "dieting" IdF it had been "You can´t become anorexic by HEALTHY dieting" I would totally agree!

    2054 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/4/2012 2:27:07 AM
    agreed. and I can't stand it when people tell me to stop losing weight because I'm "skinny" or "too thin." I am absolutely NEITHER. I'm just not fat anymore.
    2054 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Great Blog!!! Thank You for the information and concerns many people have about this. My sister had problems with it in high school.It is very hard on everyone involve. She came out of it but had mental problems etc. til she died from complications of brain cancer surgery at the age of 42. Enough said. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy You Day. Take Care.
    2054 days ago
    I also understand what Amber is saying. The book is not closed on many issues and I like to stay very "open ended" to allow for new ideas and opinions.
    We do seem to want to separate the brain from the rest of the body and it tends to lead to fear and prejudice of anything "mental".
    It's wonderful what is being now as far as studying the brain. It makes for exciting possibilities.
    2054 days ago
    I may have other mental problems, but I doubt I ever have to worry about being Anorexic.

    Great post Nell, as always.

    2054 days ago
    It can be terrible for people and it is also has mental problems.
    Anorexics need help in many different ways.
    2054 days ago
  • --KREN
    I agree, Nell. I've never worried about being anorexic but wow, other people seem to worry about it a lot. The first time you say "diet" people start warning you not to lose too much. As IF those of us truly struggling to lose a pound will have that problem! Ha!

    2054 days ago
    Actually, a lot of anorexics started that way with a 'diet' that they then took too far, and the extreme diet then affects their thinking, and things get worse and worse. Their are some lines of thought that anorexia is in great part created by a vitamin deficiency, and if given supplements (while) they are getting treatment, it can help turn around their thinking and their obsession.

    It is also now being proven that there are two areas of the brain that do not function normally in obsessions; one area is too turned off, and one area is overstimulated. There are now treatments being used in some centers that help re-balance these areas of the brain.

    It's not quite so cut and dried that it is a 'mental illness'. It has a lot to do with 'physical' issues too that cause the mental issues. And, it also has to do with 'trauma' issues that create 'control' issues, and then they use food as the object of control. So, it is a very complex disease.

    2054 days ago
    Thanks for the excellent blog. Eating disorders of any kind are difficult for most people to understand.

    2054 days ago
  • JEANNE229
    As someone who has a loved one with this, I totally agree.
    2055 days ago
    I so understand what you are saying. It's an awful illness that breaks my heart when I see women suffering.
    You are not being too sensitive only honest which is good.
    Have a terrific week end
    2055 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Nell, you are SO has nothing to do with dieting! I have known a few (and yes, some of them have died) this is the BEST blog I have seen that can really help people. Anorexia results in horrible debilitating depression and many other physical problems...thanks so much for needed information!
    2055 days ago
    you are so correct one is a choice made by you & the other is a disease which has to be looked after
    2055 days ago
    Thank you for this! I'm going to make my husband read it!!!
    2055 days ago
  • VINGRAM is serious. emoticon
    2055 days ago
    Good points. Thanks!
    2055 days ago
    emoticon for posting this. It is a terrible mental illness and people have a distorted self-image and unrealistic expectations with Anorexia. Anorexia is a totally NON-healthy weight distortion and is opposite of eating in a way that results in a healthy weight!

    Have a great weekend!

    2055 days ago
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