A Dangerous Obsession: The Alluring Lies of Pro-Anorexia

December 10, 2010 Angela E. Gambrel

It is still hard to confess that from February through May of this year, I created a alternative persona called Ana Magersucht and became enmeshed in the pro-anorexia lifestyle. I joined several websites devoted to pro-anorexia under this alternative name, and began to buy into the idea of anorexia as a lifestyle choice and that recovery was optional. My eating disorders psychiatrist quickly became alarmed when I talked about what I was doing, and immediately suggested that I be hospitalized. I wasn't at my lowest weight yet, but I was heavily restricting and it was significantly affecting my health. But that was not his biggest concern. He was most concerned with my growing obsession with pro-anorexia.

The Appeal of Pro Anorexia, Thinspiration Websites to a Distorted Mind

thinspiration-picThe best way for anyone to understand why someone would be drawn to these sites is to get a snapshot of the person's mind while she is involved with them. So I would like to share with you some of the notes I wrote for my psychiatrist in mid-February expressing my feelings and concerns about becoming involved with the pro-anorexia lifestyle:

The truth is I'm very disturbed by my creation of Ana Magersucht, who has begun to take on a life of her own. Recovery from anorexia is lonely and depressing and sometimes hopeless. Then I said, "[Screw] it." So I created Ana Magersucht. I have turned her into a weapon against myself, sending me text messages such as "You will never make it!!!! I will always be here with you. Love, Ana." On Saturday, I tried to eat. I had a small bowl — a few bites, really — of cereal, crying at the first taste of food in more than a week.

And this is what I — Ana Magersucht — posted on one pro-ana website: "I love the feeling of my hip bones as I lay in bed at night. I love the look of my collar bones gracing my chest. I love feeling empty and watching other people eat, know I don't need to. The empty feeling is just so seductive. And when each pound drops . . . I feel more in control."

I feel I'm in so deep now, I can't crawl my way out, fight my way out, write my way out. I've created a world I can't seem to tear down. I feel as if I am trapped in a web.

Pro-Anorexia Websites and a Feeling of Belonging

That is the alluring part of pro-anorexia websites. You are made to feel as if you are special and beyond the normal human need for food. Until you realize you actually are trapped and getting sicker every day. It is romanticizing anorexia, making it seem as if it is a lifestyle choice. One of the scariest things about these sites is that they are open to minors and encourage these teenagers how to lie to their parents and hide the fact they aren't eating.

It is not a lifestyle choice, and these websites are peddling lies. Anorexia is a serious mental illness which has numerous physical ramifications, and has killed many people.

Don't believe the lies of pro-anorexia. Believe in the truth of eating disorders recovery and the wonderful life that can be yours as you move through recovery and toward health.

APA Reference
Gambrel, A. (2010, December 10). A Dangerous Obsession: The Alluring Lies of Pro-Anorexia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Angela E. Gambrel

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