I have been an online writer for over nine years. My articles focus on anorexia and other mental health issues.
First, I apologise for the explicitness of the photo in this article, but I really want people to see the seriousness of the impact Pro-ana websites are having on young people. If you do not want to be disturbed, please close this page now.
What Are Pro-Ana Websites?
Pro Ana websites promote anorexia nervosa. They urge children/teenagers to celebrate anorexia as a lifestyle rather than as a disorder. They are growing fast. A lot of petitions for them to be banned or closed down are now being made. I definitely think that the government should intervene. The Royal College of Psychiatrists have urged action to tackle these Pro-ana websites' dangerous philosophy.
What Is Anorexia?
Anorexia is an eating disorder. It is also a psychological disorder. Its effects go beyond the effects of out-of-control dieting. The individual continues the endless cycle of dieting/losing weight until they are near starvation. They do this in order to feel a sense of control over the body.
What Is “Thinspiration?”
I searched for one of these websites and it was shocking. This website gave all the motivation you could ever need to look thin. They backed up their philosophy with hundreds of diets (food diets, different types of fasting, medicines to buy on-line to be thin, and lots of photo’s of thin people which they called “thinspiration”). I have not posted the link here, in case this article is read by teens who are searching for such websites.
How Anorexia Kills
It affects both boys and girls. Anorexia kills people. In fact, this disease enjoys the highest fatality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Anorexia causes a weakened immune system, weakened muscles, digestive problems, neurological problems, etc. Because the disorder throws off the correct functioning of so many of the body's systems, it can kill you in myriad ways.
How to Spot Anorexia
Unlike many other psychological disorders, anorexia is fairly easy to spot. If you notice a friend or family member who appears dangerously skinny, you should not hesitate to speak up. Though it may seem rude, this disorder is truly dangerous and should not be overlooked.
Signs of anorexia include:
- They have experienced rapid, drastic weight loss in a short period of time.
- The person only likes to eat low fat food or food with low calories. They tend to have an obsession with calories and are always counting their calorie intake. They might even keep a food diary.
- They play with their food or hide it. They avoid eating and sometimes excuse themselves from eating. They also tend to throw up after eating. If the person lives with family, they might hide their food under the pretense that they are going to eat in their bedroom.
- They always criticize their body when standing in front of a mirror. They are never thin enough and refuse to believe they have problems with their body weight.
- They may use diet pills or laxatives.
- They partake in too much grueling or punishing exercise.
- They read a lot about weight loss. They visit websites that promote unhealthy ways to lose weight.
- They often feel cold, dizzy, and have headaches.
- They have low self-esteem. It’s a pity that in the West, being slim is considered being beautiful and youngsters want to look like thin celebrities.
P.S. You have to be very observant, as they are good at hiding symptoms. One example is a person who throws up in the toilet after a meal. They could leave the tap running in the bathroom, so you don’t hear them while they stick their fingers in their throat and throw up. Remain vigilant and don't be afraid to have the conversation, if necessary. People struggling with anorexia need help and support.
Why Do I Call It a Cult?
What really sent shivers through me was the prayer below (which is why I put cult in my title). Some of the skeletal girls, who belong to the Pro-ana cult, go so far as to bow before a mysterious leader known as "the goddess of emaciation." Please read and notice how youngsters are being lured into this group.
This letter seems like a death prayer to me:
I offer you my soul, my heart and my bodily functions. I give you all my earthly possessions.
I seek your wisdom, your faith and your featherweight. I pledge to obtain the ability to float, to lower my weight to the single digits, I pledge to stare into space, to fear food, and to see obese images in the mirror. I will worship you and pledge to be a faithful servant until death does us part.
If I cheat on you and procreate with Ronald McDonald, Dave Thomas, the colonel or that cute little dog. I will kneel over my toilet and thrust my fingers deep in my throat and pray for your forgiveness.
Please, Ana, don't give up on me. I'm so weak, I know, but only you with your strength inside me will I become a woman worthy of love and respect. I'm begging for you not to give up, I'm pleading with my shallow breaths and my pale skin. I bleed for you, suffer leg pains, headaches and fainting spells.
Today, I renew our friendship and resolve to be faithful to you year long, lifelong. I begin each year with a 3 day fast in honor of you. If you give me the strength to fade away I will love you and worship you forever.
Love Always, Amanda. (insert your own name in place of mine)
Sure sounds like a cult, doesn't it? Don't let your friends or family get lured into this dangerous group. We should not recommend, promote, or support this kind of self-destructive behavior.
- Vice News, "I Spent a Week Undercover in a Pro-Anorexia WhatsApp Group"
- Web MD, "Pro-Anorexia Web Sites: The Thin Web Line"
- Newsweek, "How Pro-Anorexia Websites Exacerbate the Eating Disorder Epidemic"
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Tuqa on July 16, 2019:
I know right
skinnydoll on July 17, 2018:
we just want to be skinny girls! and bones are more important than anything
ana4life on October 03, 2016:
It is a lifestyle!
Ana is My everything
she helpes me everytime
anorexia is NOT a diseas!
guest on July 27, 2014:
This doesn't just happen to teenage girls. I know of a man in his late 30's who works in a professional role in the health industry with a family and he is well-respected. Yet he is delusional and he runs a pro anorexia website, pretending to be a 15 year old girl. He says there are 'ana police' and they make people fat so they can make anorexics feel bad. The ana police R invisible. He makes fun of fat people and he wants more anorexics to be accepted and he loves them. He binges on peanut butter and bananas. I want to raise awareness that these types of people exist and they are v. scary.
treeona on April 28, 2014:
i don't think the reason why people become anarexic because they have very low self a steam and they look in the mirror and they see a fat person and other people could see that, that person is not really fat. people that are anarexic, they are not choosing to be fat or skinny, they are choosing between life and death...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tj on February 01, 2014:
PrincessDaisy on December 30, 2013:
Not all pro-ana websites are like the one you found. In fact, the vast majority of them do not promote eating disorders as a lifestyle. Users on these sites know their disease is a mental disorder, and they do all they can to discourage anyone who just wants to lose weight fast from this. Eating disorders are not a way to live; they are a miserable disease, and by far aren't desirable- this is what most people on these sites believe. Oh, and I think I know what website you got that letter from, and it's one of those anorexia-is-a-good-thing ones....
ap-test on November 08, 2013:
just checking to see if comments need to be approved
Elena (author) from London, UK on October 30, 2013:
Stephanie Constantino from Fountain, CO on October 20, 2013:
I have to say, I was really moved by this. I work with preteen and teenaged girls, so the fight against eating disorders is something I see quite a bit. It breaks my heart to think that girls actually believe that their entire worth is dependent on the number on their scale. Thank you so much for helping to spread awareness of the dangers of this kind of disease. You are awesome...
Elena (author) from London, UK on June 29, 2013:
Thanks Michele - No need to apologise about not reading the comments. I think there are over 100. :-)
It's sad about the increase Anorexia - as you noted in the 60s, it wasn't rampant. I appreciate you stopping by and thanks for your kind comments. xx
Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on June 25, 2013:
This is a very good hub. People actually die from this, and it is effecting girls earlier and earlier. I was born in 1964 and we had never even heard of this. We were just supposed to be healthy.
Lady E this is a very professional hub. I am sorry, I did not read all the comments, but if you help even one person then you have done even more then you could imagine.
God bless you.
Elena (author) from London, UK on May 21, 2013:
Thanks Random. :-)
random[a..z]y on May 19, 2013:
I am glad that I discovered this blog, just the right information that I was looking for!
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 06, 2012:
Aaaawh... thanks so much for sharing your story. Sorry, I'm just reading it now. (I'm a bit slow with catching up on Comments left on Hubs).
It's so nice to know you are fine now. As you explained, it's a self inflicted method of suicide and sadly many die from it - even famous people. I like your point about raising more public awareness. Maybe, it should be included in PE Lessons in schools. I do my best with my Care4Anorexics Twitter account, sending out info for recovery and so many people contact me personally. Recently, I notice some people are self-harming with it.
I just hope friends and family are observant - to help those affected before it's too late. Thanks so much for stopping.
Take Care, Elena.
Beth100 from Canada on August 04, 2012:
Anorexia nervosa is deadly and without the right form of intervention, the path is one way. I was a size double 00 in my late teens and early twenties. I lived off one scant box of raisins a day (you know, the ones that you hand out at Halloween? The Sunmaid tiny boxes) and that made me feel sick to the stomach. One box lasted me 20 hours. Some days, I skipped eating - it was too filling. At the time, I didn`t understand that I was killing myself. A self inflicted method of suicide. Enough said about me.
Everyday continues to be a reminder of how important it is to eat, live and be healthy.
Watching a love one wither away to become draping skin on bones is difficult and torturous. It is a thought that doesn't enter one's mind when one is consumed with being thin. If an afflicted person could understand this, how their self infliction is hurting their loved ones, it will tweak something in them to survive and fight this.
More public awareness and understanding is needed. More importantly, educating pre-teens on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, healthy self image, building self-esteem and confidence are the best weapons against anorexia. Being proactive will produce better results.
Thank you Lady E for bringing attention to this in a fashion that commands attention without causing panic and fear. I am also relieved that you did not post the link -- your foresight is impeccable.
Ana-Kate Regzig on July 28, 2012:
you want to government to get involved but what about our first amendment rights? We as US citizens have freedom of speech, religion, opinion, and press. We can voice our opinions and there will be nothing the government can legally do about it.
Elena (author) from London, UK on July 08, 2012:
@Teaches12345 Hello, It's sad that it is increasing, however on a Positive there is a lot of FREE help out there - IF only they will find it and be willing to have the help.
I appreciate you stopping by.
Dianna Mendez on July 06, 2012:
It amazes me that people think they look good this thin. I have heard the number of teens with this disorder is rapidly increasing. It doesn't help that the media presents thin as being beautiful. I applaud your hub and voted it way up. I hope people that need to hear this advice will find it helpful and inspiring.
Madeleine Salin from Finland on July 06, 2012:
There's a very good association for people with Anorexia and Bulimia in our town. It has helped many young girls. In my teens I knew more people with eating disorders. It's like an epidemic of Anorexia and Bulimia among teens around where I live ... Thank you!
Elena (author) from London, UK on July 06, 2012:
Hi Made - So True that it's a slow way to suicide. I hope those you know, that are still struggling are able to recover.
I appreciate you stopping by. Best Wishes. Elena
Madeleine Salin from Finland on July 06, 2012:
This is a great hub that can be an eye opener to many people. It's sad that these sites exist. It's sad that so many people have this disease. I know about many people who have been suffering from Anorexia. Some have recovered, but they still struggle with having a normal relationship to food. I have read books about people with Anorexia. Their whole family and people around them are also affected. Having Anorexia is a slow way to suicide if you don't get help and want to be helped. Great work even if the pictures made me sick.
Elena (author) from London, UK on June 19, 2012:
Thanks for sharing, Fiona.
I hope you will find a nice way to enlighten her. I hope the opportunity presents itself. I am a Teacher too and will not just watch such a kid without calling them aside in a caring way and having a chat with them that will help them realise the truth of what they are doing. They are kids...
Best Wishes and thanks again.
fiona on June 18, 2012:
hi! I am a ballet teacher who has had to deaal with kids (not just girls) with eating disorders. There is a young ballerina, no names, but her blog indicates that she is very pro anorexia. It is such a pity that she is becoming a role model for young dancers. Dancers who eat healthily and work hard never have weight issues, but she is promoting the awful 70's starved ballerina look that caused so many deaths. There are a few u tube videos called the beautiful tragedy that have a lot to say about this.
Dennis on May 25, 2012:
The numbers on the scale tells you if you are winning or not.
The Thin Commandments
If you are not thin you are not attractive.
Being thin is more important than being healthy.
You must take laxatives, starve yourself, do anything to make yourself look thinner.
Thou shall not eat without feeling guilty.
Thou shall not eat fattening foods without punishing oneself afterwards.
Thou shall count calories and restrict intake accordingly.
What the scale says is the most important thing
Losing weight is good/ Gaining weight is bad
You can never be too thin.
" Being thin and not eating are true signs of will power and success.
Cristi on March 27, 2012:
Elena (author) from London, UK on March 08, 2012:
@LJ Thanks for stopping by to post some words of encouragement. I hope people take heed to what you have written. I will look up Dr Kevorkian to see if he has any websites, videos or other resources.
LJ on March 06, 2012:
I can't believe that anyone would want to hurt themselves to this extent, yet I see it....... The men and woman who are promoting this as a "life-style", should be imprisoned for murder, this is by far worse than anything that
Dr. Kevorkian ever did...... this is people taking pleasure in assisting people to destroy their health, lives and self-esteem and love....... pro-ana??? how to make your body shut itself down, through not giving it the nourishment it needs, a car won't run without gas, a child will not grow to a healthy adult with out food, love and water --- why would anyone think that their bodies in adulthood would be any different. This does not make you beautiful people, just to opposite, it's like looking at skeletons, covered in skin, skin that has aged beyond it's years. Stop - get help - be happy and healthy instead - for God's sake and yours.
anon on February 03, 2012:
The internet is freedom. Don't you see that if they shut down sites that promote unhealthy things like disorders and mental illnesses they would have to shut down a lot of other things, if not everything. Everyone has a right to have their say and it's so much easier online with your identity hidden.
Elena (author) from London, UK on January 26, 2012:
@Millionaire - It's true some have the wrong idea but when you are young, it's easy to be gullible. Thankfully there is more help/info out there for them Thanks for stopping.
@DJ - I'm glad you are fine now.
Keep healthy, Keep Happy.
DJ on January 26, 2012:
it is the world we live in, i have been an over weight, yo-yo dieter all my life..i have felt envy for the skinny and good looking. But i thank god, i have never become so desperate to reach this level... however..i still at 47yrs of age thrive to just once feel sexy and slim...
Shasta Matova from USA on January 24, 2012:
I can't imagine there are websites that promote having a disease. Hopefully they areg oing over the top to convince people to stop as a form of reverse psychology. These pictures are disturbing - these girls have the wrong idea about beauty.
Elena (author) from London, UK on January 16, 2012:
Thanks for your support.
"Amen" to your prayer.
Alexander Thandi Ubani from Lagos on January 16, 2012:
Quite pathetic, disturbing and disturbing. I pray that many be made to understand the dangers of anorexia. God help us
Elena (author) from London, UK on December 16, 2011:
Thanks for stopping by. Wishing you a wonderful Xmas. Do take care of yourself.
Another Teenager, Kate Chilver Died of Anorexia this week
For Anorexia Support, you can find me here:
Love and Best Wishes
Bony on December 15, 2011:
How can they be doing satanic acts no such thing is satan and god but these girls do look gross if people keep on telling them the truth and this people who luv this ana things
U R NOT FAT
UR A SKELTON
UR WARRPED IN THE HEAD
When u look in the mirror to see fat by the way no one wants a bony girl
Stop getting rid of my comments it is an america freedom of soeech
To sara on December 15, 2011:
Sara perfect is not a skelton this is gross u can exercise and eat right if u want a relationship one day and ur a skelton it wont work out
Eat on December 15, 2011:
Sweety there anerexic not thin there is a difference im 125 and im thin insulted thin people comparing them to anerexics
Nightmares on December 15, 2011:
Nightmares for life u thought u were fat wow scary
Elena (author) from London, UK on December 01, 2011:
Break it down, Bubba....
bubba on November 30, 2011:
Pro Ana is not the same as Pro Anorexia. Pro Anorexia is what you have described.
Elena (author) from London, UK on November 08, 2011:
Hello on November 07, 2011:
Fyi, 1 in ten anorexics is a male, and anorexia isn't simply a wish for thinness but a disease who's focus is upon control via restriction.
Elena (author) from London, UK on November 06, 2011:
Thanks Ana - I know most people want to be left alone. I noticed this on profile of some who follow me on Care4Anorexics on Twitter and I feel like saying to them "why follow me, if you love being Anorexic?" but I will just leave them be....
By the same token I have a few who are in contact with me personally and benefit from the support I give to them. A lot of them are anorexic because of something deep that is hurting...
Reading your comment, I don't like the fact that some people are force feed. They should be told lovingly the effects of Anorexia and coarsed into recovery also in a caring way.
People who have anorexia have a choice. I just hope they make the right one. Life is too short to waste.
Thanks for all the info and Best Wishes.
AnaFreedom on November 05, 2011:
Sorry, I meant trying to change us into who we DO NOT want to be.
AnaFreedom on November 05, 2011:
Um, the writing that you exhibit was most likely not written by an anorexic. Most (if not all)of these religious style pieces were parodies written by anti anorexia people, psychologists and such who passed them out duing eating disoder treatment groups to try to make anorexics see ana as negative. Some people decided to post them on their sites instead as thinspiration. I was relieved to learn this, as some of them did not sound like ana at all (I don't mean "sound" in the literal sense, I don't want the next person to ask if I am hearing voices), especially the "Letter From Ana" (if you seach the web for that I believe you will find it, the first line is "Let me intoduce myself"). Indeed, it sounds a lot like the stern, authoritative tone of some of the eating disorder treatment professionals. If, you want a cult, look to the people who try to forcibly convert anorexics to their beliefs and lifetyle. I learned after my experience in an inpatient anorexia clinic that the techniques used on us were similar to the ones used on U.S. P.O.W.S. during the Korean War. They have also been used to try to forcibly brainwash homosexuals into being straight, in a time when that was thought of as an illness. They did more damage to me than ana ever did. They taught binging (being forced to eat such huge quantities of food that the other patients pitied us, all to gain the weight in about a month) and inactivity, as if it would be so easy to stop either. Some patients have become bulimic this way, others gained so much weight that those 2x joke tshirts that boast of having overcome anorexia would fit.
Also, the "prayer" to ana gives the impression that anorexics are also bulimic; not all anas vomit or use laxitives. Not all of us have low self esteem. We want freedom. Free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to the life we choose. If someone would choose treatment, let her (or him). But the girl who is 5 or 10 (or 15)pounds under some doctor's chart should not be locked up to be attemptedly altered against her will, especially not when so many people are obese or smoke. A person who smokes that has lung cancer is advised of treatment options and may choose to not even try to quit. If an obese person survived a heat attack, he or she would undergo emergency treatment and would be released to the eating habits that he or she would choose. The person with a cigarette in one hand and an oxygen mask in the other is free, as is the person who was so fat he had to have part of his house removed so he could get out. No one put them in forced nicotine rehabilitation of a fat farm. They are not forcing the cigarette industry or Burger King to pull all their ads. And homosexuality is no longer considered an illness, much less one that they can be committied for. Most pro anas wish to be left alone by the industry that wishes to change us into who we want to be. Yes, "who", not just a jean size. They wished to break from me a part of my soul, a part I doubt they (or you) even understood.
Elena (author) from London, UK on September 09, 2011:
No Comprehendo but thanks for stopping by. :)
Paty on September 08, 2011:
Todas do movimento Pro Ana precisam de salvação e cura, e só no nome de Jesus o nome que está acima de todos os nomes pode curá-las..isso é o poder do inimigo que faz isso com elas....e somente Jesus Cristo pode salvá-las desse inferno.
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 08, 2011:
That's True AgesMGMT, such a pity but I hope they find the path to recovery. Thanks for stopping.
AgesMGMT from New York on August 07, 2011:
Pro Ana huh, crazy how twisted minds can become. Not only do they harm their own minds and bodies but they encourage the youth and people to do the same. Sad
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 03, 2011:
** Thanks Thinspiration.
** Hi Sweetie - Very wise words. I hope people will take your advice. Thanks. :)
sweetie1 from India on July 31, 2011:
Wow it looks so ugly to be so thin. I am not fat even though i usually eat what i like but in moderation. If you exercise daily and watch what is going inside your body and in what quantity then i don't think you need any diet or anything to be healty.
thinspiration on July 26, 2011:
you don't have to be anorexic to be thin! you have to be healthy and thin that is the real way not to die beeing thin! you should keep that in mind
Elena (author) from London, UK on June 09, 2011:
I don't believe in the words "once anorexic, always anorexic". You have a choice in life to snap out of it.
Anyway, take care. ((Big Hug)).
Elena (author) from London, UK on March 22, 2011:
** Thanks for your comments, Vocal Coach.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 15, 2011:
Wow! What an eye-opener this is. I had no idea. You have done a good job. So sad! rated up. Thank you.
Elena (author) from London, UK on February 24, 2011:
Thanks for your comments. Some curves wouldnt' hurt.
CONSCIOUSNINJA from Planet Earth on February 23, 2011:
OMG this is sickening...its so sad that all major entertainment and media industries promote the 'thin' look...reality is that most women DO NOT look like that will NEVER look like that but that doesnt mean they are not beautiful....
i personally think that men would like a woman with SOME curves...but hey thats me!
Elena (author) from London, UK on February 15, 2011:
** The friend - Aaah... Well, I'm glad you stopped by. Take care of U and your Sis.
The friend on February 14, 2011:
We aren't the same person... She was my step sister.
Elena (author) from London, UK on February 14, 2011:
** Justanotherteen - Thanks for the Support. :)
** The Friend - My Crystal ball tells me "The Friend" and "Ana" are the same person. It's Valentine's Day today. Happy Valentines Day - Take Care of U. xx
The friend on February 13, 2011:
"Ana" is dead. Hope you're happy
justanotherteen on February 12, 2011:
Such an important issue and I think it's really great you're writing about it because it's improtant that people elarn more about it and how serious it really is
Jamie on February 10, 2011:
Annas whole point was you allow negative comments about Ana but not your article I believe
Elena (author) from London, UK on February 10, 2011:
** Jamie - As far as my eyes can see, Anna's comments are on this article. Infact, quite a few.... :)
Jamie on February 09, 2011:
How can you allow comments like cameryn's but not comments like anna's?It doesnt make sense.
Elena (author) from London, UK on February 09, 2011:
@Ana Thanks again for stopping. Wishing you complete recovery.
@Saleh Nice of you to stop by. Best Wishes.
@Ana'sRedDragonfly Thanks. I appreciate you sharing your views.
@Cameryn - I don't understand it either but its lovely to have you stop by.
Cameryn on February 07, 2011:
I do not understand what would draw these girls to such satanic acts. It is horrible, the way scociety has gone...so sad...Great hub!!
Ana'sRedDragonfly on January 27, 2011:
There are different types of Pro Ana websites though.
The evil ones that offer tips & encouragement, & the good one's that offer support, & a no-judgemenatl environment. These actually promote recovery, they just don't bash on girls with eating disorders. This subject needs to be viewed on a wider, more broad outlook.
Saleh on January 12, 2011:
Everyone has a right to have a community that accepts them.
Ana on January 07, 2011:
Obviously you do not care if you are indeed telling me to stay away from this hub. I have Anorexia Nervosa!! I have this disorder that you depict as so evil. I am not having a go at you, I am actually giving FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE! I am not a fan of you deleting my comments because they might cause someone to realize that girls like me need help. I obviously know you have challenges, but I have those that you write about. I have visited the link. Many times. And I still hate my body, hate my fat, hate everything about myself. I am ugly and fat, even though I am underweight. My world is spinning out of control and your twitter account (sooo impersonal) does not help. I am glad it has helped some girl, but I represent the hundreds of thousands of girls who you can't help, and opposing our only source of community who does not think we are insane is destructive. I hope you post this, but doubt you will. All I can say is I try so hard to get better. I do not try to oppose you. Ana has ruined relationships, my self esteem, and a lot more. Now its all I have. And having my voice heard is one of the things that keeps me alive.
Whatever peace is, whatever peace can be, I hope you have it....so as you say...
Elena (author) from London, UK on January 07, 2011:
** Ana, you have bombarded me with many negative comments. Some I had to delete. Read my response to starved above.
I don't have the energy to keep up with you. I actually have my own challenges in life but still make time to help anorexics - visit the link above and think twice before having another go at me again.
Elena (author) from London, UK on January 07, 2011:
Thanks Starved - I promise you, I am simply raising awareness. You will notice above that I have set up a Twitter account to tweet useful info to help these ladies. I tweet stuff about eating disorders, self esteem, bodyimage, women issues etc.
All I am doing is raising awareness, trying to make a difference. What I do above actually takes up my time as I have to search for articles, but for me it's a Labour of Love.
Wishing all Anorexics well. :)
Ana on January 02, 2011:
While I assume you do not want me to comment again, I do just want to say that from looking at a pro ana website, one cannot develop an eating disorder. If someone has an eating disorder, they already have a psychological disorder, as many have said, and will get fuel by any means. Shutting down Ana will not help. Plus, freedom of speech. All I'm saying is I actually have been in a place you haven't, and I do not believe that Ana sites truly create or establish anorectics because it is a psychological disorder. If you want to help, do something productive against anorexia instead of this.
Starved on January 02, 2011:
Caro was great, she is fuel when Ana needs fuel, and recovery when Ana needs recovery. This hub is very well written. I commend you upon this. Though I do caution you in some misleadings. The way you depict girls who are involved in pro Ana websites and anorexia is highly negative and slightly satanic and crazy. These girls are just in need of help for their Psychological disorder. While horrible, some comments are better left unsaid.
Peace and love
Elena (author) from London, UK on January 02, 2011:
** Pro - May she RiP. She was only 28 when she died Nov 2010.
** tn.a - thanks for your comments. I will see if I can replace some of the photos.
Happy New Year.
pro on December 30, 2010:
RIP Isabelle Caro
Elena (author) from London, UK on December 27, 2010:
Ana - It's your life, It's your Call!
Ana on December 25, 2010:
Pro-Ana saved my life. How dare you criticize something you haven't experienced or that you don't understand. You think you get it just because you read two articles online then write a hub about it? You will never understand!
Elena (author) from London, UK on December 19, 2010:
Thanks for your comments and for sharing more insight into Pro Ana. Best Wishes.
arthurchappell from Manchester, England on December 16, 2010:
powerful feature - and a very important one. The pro-An websites you refer to certainly seem to have a cult like draw - I recognize that from having been in a cult myself (not an anorexia related one). Many, though by no means all cults do have food related rules, most obviously in demanding vegetarianism, or long periods of fasting. Food and sleep control and deprivation are powerful brainwashing tools. Cults tend to make members feel bad about themselves to gain power over them, so accusing members of being overweight can force members into abstaining from food - a cult that has to feed members less has less overheads or food bils to pay so makes more money, etc. The pro-An groups seem have spotted a niche - anorexia sufferers who want a voice that encourages and supports their weight loss strategies rather than the many voices around them encouraging them to eat more and get medical attention, etc. The prayer reads like a dark satire, giving the more sympathetic readers a contempt for burger bars and people who encourage junk food consumption - it gives the anorexic/bulemic a revulsion of bigger and overweight folk round them - it says 'don't get to be like them', so the desire to starve down gets fuelled further. If pro-an culture moves from being an internet resource to selling newsletters, tee-shirts, and organzing public meetings, then we all have cause to worry. A charismatic leader of such a group could be a terrifyingly powerful and dangerous guru. I'll be looking more closely at the pro-an cult(ure) myself now - thanks for drawing it within my own radar here.
Elena (author) from London, UK on December 03, 2010:
Wow Katie - You look so young to have 2 Teens. What's the secret? :)
Thanks for sharing your comments.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on December 02, 2010:
Thank you so much, I have a twelve and 14 year old daughter and they are both very aware of their weight. Blessings and thanks again for the awareness. Peace :)
Elena (author) from London, UK on November 23, 2010:
Thanks Anaya - you are right about it stemming from emotional problems and unhappiness. The more I read about it, the more I discover the same thing too. One lady I read about last month, said she liked the attention she got when she was sick - that was worrying.
Regarding your Hub - I would suggest you leave it there. People tend to read things from different angles. I'm sure there are those who will find it useful. I've had the odd 2 or 3 people read mine upside down and have had a go at me but I've just ignored them.
I hope to visit your profile later on today.
Have a great day.
Anaya M. Baker from North Carolina on November 21, 2010:
I'd heard of the pro-ana sites before, but never actually saw one. I quite honestly don't think I could stomach it.
That "prayer" you shared was unbelievable! I kept thinking there was no way that could be for real, it sounded like some really sick parody. So scary.
I understand why you said that you don't want to write too much on this. It's really hard to find a line between sharing information that will hopefully help people, and possibly promoting the stuff that we are speaking out against. Negative publicity is still publicity. I ran into this with a hub I wrote on my own experience with an eating disorder in high school. My aim in writing the hub was to try to share the fact that an eating disorder is usually the result of emotional problems, unhappiness, etc. That its not really about just weight, but really deep-seated negative feelings of shame, depression, or bad self esteem. I actually got a comment afterwards by a teenager that said she had "tried and failed" anorexia, and that she enjoyed reading my story. This scared the CRAP out of me, the last thing I wanted was to be an "inspiration" to wannabe anorexics. I thought about taking the hub down, but didn't. Still not sure.
Anyways, I really like the way you approach this difficult issue. Thanks for sharing. This is a subject I know a lot about, but your hub really opened my eyes to some new stuff. Thanks:)
Elena (author) from London, UK on October 11, 2010:
I hope so too wjames. Thanks for stopping.
wjames on October 09, 2010:
This is not pretty. I hope a lot of young girls wake up and take notice.
Elena (author) from London, UK on October 09, 2010:
Thanks for your support 2besure. Regards.
Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on October 08, 2010:
The photos are necessary to show the magnitude of the horrible exploitation of these sick people.
Elena (author) from London, UK on October 03, 2010:
Thanks for your comments FirstStepsFitness - It is true that Karen Carpenter died of Anorexia but there was an underlying problem I think she had with her mum. I don't think she felt loved by her mum. You might find the movie interesting. The Carpenters. (This is why it's termed as a Mental Disorder. Her anorexia was a cry out for attention)
Glad you stopped by.
FirstStepsFitness on October 01, 2010:
Both conditions are very complicated . The road traveled back to health is complicated as well . Great Hub ! We all hope this sheds some light on a very closeted illness . I am not sure if anyone remembers the Carpenter singing duet they were bother and sister I believe . The sister died from the complications of this illness .
Elena (author) from London, UK on September 27, 2010:
** Thanks for Stopping College girls. I appreciate it. :)
** Hello Dawn, I'm glad you shared those comments. I wasn't aware that it also damaged organs. I hope this gives any readers affected by Anorexia, motivation to start eating well. Thanks so much.
Dawn Michael from THOUSAND OAKS on September 25, 2010:
Hi Lady E, those pictures are just so awful and what these children not only put themselves through but the people around them. Eating disorders are just so prevelent these days with the media promoting this type of image, it's truly distubing. These teenage girls that do this can have a lasting affect on their bodies damaging vital organs and postponing menstration.
College Girls on September 13, 2010:
I'm glad there are hubs like these that really shine a light on this. So sad.
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 27, 2010:
Thanks so much Mecredes - I Twitter this a lot. It would be a good idea to put in on Facebook. Glad you made this suggestion. I haven't used it because I get a lot of responses on Twitter.
So glad you stopped by. Regards. :)
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 27, 2010:
Lol C-Dan - thanks for sticking up for me there. That's so sweet.
Also, thanks for sharing your comments. I personally have never had problems with Anorexia but I notice it's affecting and killing lots of young people - Male, Female but mostly young ladies.
I must check out your link. May I also thank you for all your recent visits to my articles. You're a ray of Sunshine. :)
mercedes on August 26, 2010:
that was sick...but im glad u did it..u should think about putting it on facebook it whould defintally get to alot of people...cause now a days alot of teens never really search the web anymore
C-Dan on August 25, 2010:
Cut it Rayraych... In no way are you helping out, so at least let others who are be.
God, I knew about anorexia, but nothing about ana & pro-ana,
this is awful...
To all anorexics -
We function the way we do, coz it the way life has sustained & evolved, if your ma was anorexic, u wouldn't be here...
Deviation should only be limited to artistic expression & innovation which in no way would won't harm existence...
Take care folks
Thanks for the post lady_E
Elena (author) from London, UK on August 24, 2010:
Hello again; In response to your last paragraph: I want people to support Anorexics but to be against The Websites that Promote Anorexia. If I didn't want to help/Support Anorexics - I wouldn't set up a Twitter Account and tweet useful info which will guide them to recovery.
Rayraych - I actually teach and work with Teens so it's only natural I like to support them. Thanks for stopping but I will not be approving anymore criticising comments.
Enjoy your day and be a channel of blessing to people.
Rayraych on August 23, 2010:
I underdtznd what you're trying to get at, but the thing is anorexia is a disease, so of course it kills. People with anorexia don't ask for it just like some people don't ask for cancer. It's a disease and it effects your brain in ways that you don't really seem to know.
I did read all of your article and i apreciate that you set up an account for support, but it seems like you're trying to get people to be against anorexics because of what this disease is doing to them.