In the video below, you will see a first-hand account of a teenage girl who suffers with very serious anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a complex and severe eating disorder in which a person inflicts self-starvation, usually as a result of body dissatisfaction.
According to nationaleatingdisorders.org, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States alone suffer from some type of clinically significant eating disorder at some point during their lifetime; with numbers like those in mind, it’s easy to see why eating disorders are quickly becoming a devastating problem for Americans. Studies have shown that children, especially girls, as young as 6 years old are already concerned about their weight and outward appearance, and this insecurity stays with them for most of their lives. With eating disorders affecting more people each and every day, it’s important to hear and see stories like the young woman’s in the video below; she shares her experience so that she can shed some light on the horrors that come with an eating disorder.
Anorexia is a particularly dangerous eating disorder as it is reported as having the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorders. Nationaleatingdisorders.org goes further to claim that amongst girls and women 15-24 years of age who suffer from anorexia, twelve times more of them will die from anorexia than from any other cause. These are terrifying statistics, and it’s all the proof we need to recognize that eating disorders pose a serious threat, especially to our children. So what can be done about the issue?
With unobtainable standards of beauty being set by the fashion and entertainment industries, it’s easy for kids to lose track of what “average” looks like. It’s important to love and respect every healthy body type and to encourage children to love the body they were born with. For parents, it’s crucial to remember that your children see everything you do and learn from it; if you bash your own body, your children will learn to do the same. The majority of the problem is sparked by representations of beauty in the media, however, and it’s not going to get fixed overnight. As a society, we have to work collectively towards a more unanimous body-positive attitude that glorifies people of all shapes and sizes. Until then, we must be accepting of and compassionate towards each other and our struggles.
This story broke my heart, but I’m left feeling hopeful that this strong young woman will bounce back from her battle with anorexia and will be able to continue helping others by sharing her story. What did you think of this story? Did you know that eating disorders were such a prevalent problem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.