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Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia explained
Signs and symptoms
Related issues
Help, it sounds like me!
Associated dangers
Treatment for anorexia
Recovery and getting help

Help, it sounds like me!

You are not alone
According to the British Medical Association, 90 – 95% of people suffering from anorexia go on to recovery. If you are currently suffering from anorexia, please remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are many people who for a long time believed they were the only ones who were suffering in this way and were so relieved to find others who had similar experiences.

There is lots of help available
You may be reading this page wondering if you have anorexia. After all, it can seem like one of those things which only happens to other people. However, anorexia can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender or race. It is nothing to be ashamed of and you do not have to suffer alone. On Pale Reflections you will find hints and tips on beginning the recovery process, a treatment finder and, if you are a member, you are able to search for other members who have similar experiences and issues as yourself.

How can I live without anorexia?
An eating disorder can seem like a vicious circle, where living with anorexia is scary but the thought of living without it is even worse. Do not despair – lots of people HAVE recovered from anorexia and YOU can too. Anorexia is a way of coping, a way of dealing with life by controlling your body and your food intake. You may believe you can stop at any time, that you are not really anorexic because you don’t meet all of the diagnostic criteria or aren’t "thin enough". Try eating three meals a day for a week (without purging – that would be cheating!) and then ask yourself, "Do I control it or does it control me?"

Anorexia is an addiction, therefore like any addiction it can be treated. Fortunately, the days where doctors treated only the physical aspects of the illness are largely behind us. Sure, your physical wellbeing is important, but it’s the psychological reasons behind an eating disorder which need to be addressed. Nowadays, doctors will concentrate on BOTH the physical AND the psychological aspects of anorexia. In theory, if you start to feel better about yourself with improved self-esteem, you will become less dependent on your eating disorder and less focused on food.

I couldn’t possibly tell anybody I’m anorexic…
Telling someone about your eating disorder is scary. After all, it’s YOUR secret and YOUR friend and YOUR way of coping. You may think that people will try to take it away from you, leaving you without a way to cope. You may also be afraid of being forced to eat and get better when perhaps you’re not ready yet. The most important thing to remember is that it’s your decision to confide in someone, therefore it should also be your decision to start the recovery process.

Telling somebody about your anorexia does NOT mean you have to eat more and it does NOT mean you will need to find other ways to cope. Confiding in a friend or a family member can lift a huge burden from your shoulders. Just having someone to talk to about things can be a big relief. You will find lots of support here and you can find other members to email so you can share your experiences. Break the silence – other people really HAVE been through what you are going through now.


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