By A. María Tous Manrique (undergraduate Social Communication student. Level 4 English)
Different eating habits? Mental disorder? Social acceptance? These may be some of the causes of anorexia. This disease is characterised by low body weight, inappropriate eating habits, an obsession with having a thin figure and the fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted self-perception of the body. This occurs more often in adolescent females then males. It is a serious physical and mental condition.
I had the opportunity to experience a case of anorexia and I want to share this story with you. My friend and I were friends since we were five years old and we went to the same school. She was never a thin girl, but in primary school, weight wasn’t important. The problems started when we were in 9th grade in high school in 2009. Girls made fun of her for not being thin, made nasty jokes about her, and in the physical education classes, the situation was even worse. During the breaks, she often went to the bathroom to cry, and the teachers had to intervene. That same year her parents divorced, and that was horrible because she became depressed.
The impact of her parents not being together and being a victim of bullying was so strong that she stopped eating. If she did it, it was in small amounts, and she only drank a lot of water, which worried me. She was losing too much weight, her skin stopped being soft, and she fainted often. She was obsessed with losing weight because she felt too fat. This physical change was devastating.
She had this mental, nutritional and physical disorder for almost two years. Halfway through 2011, she left the school, and I don’t know if she continued recovering, which is quite a slow process for anyone with this disease. Since that year, we have completely lost touch.
The first step to be better is to accept that this disease affects your mental and physical health, but before this, to know that what you feel on the inside is what you reflect on the outside, and you need to love yourself as you are.