Words about Pro-Ana that I just needed to get out

I was afraid to fall asleep for almost all of high school because I thought I might pass away in my sleep. I have never been diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, but the health defects from my eating disorders (was diagnosed originally with Atypical Anorexia-OSFED and now bulimia) are just as serious. I have no enamel on my molars, I can no longer consume dairy products, I have hemorrhoids from laxative abuse, I have severe memory loss, I have Raynaud’s phenomena, test positive for early onset of arthritis and lupus, among others.

My family would constantly berate me. My twin told me that she liked me better when I was fat. And eventually my friends and family stopped trying to force me to eat. They gave up on me because I had given up on myself.

It’s horrible to think there are people in this world that want an eating disorder. Weight is temporary, so if you want to lose weight, be healthy about it. Think about it this way… the healthiest way to lose weight is 1 pound per week and no more than 15 pounds at a given weight loss period. After six months of remaining stable, weight loss can continue. But still, that means in 15 weeks you can lose 15 pounds and not have all the shitty side effects. If you want a weight loss plan, this is the plan to follow. Do not crash diet, and do not call your crash diet anorexia.

There is so much more I can write about the importance of actually understanding what a mental disorder is and seeking proper diagnosis and treatment. I blame part of the lack of resources on the fact that mental disorders are so stigmatized, but the other part is just naivete. If you are using the internet to post and reblog about pro-ana, then you can use the internet to find proper information about the eating disorder you think you have and that you do not want to give up.

What bothers me most is the use of the words “Ana” and/or “Mia”. First, I have never heard someone with an actual eating disorder refer to their illness in that way. Second, you are taking a mental disease and turning it into a friend. Eating disorders are not cute. You lose your teeth, your hair, your skin color, your warmth, and your glow. You will also lose your personality and your intelligence. There is nothing cute about it.

Many other anti-pro-ana’s have said this before: your boyfriend will not think you are cute when you are skinny. First, the kid is dating you now for the person you are now, changing is not going to make him like you more. Second, if you are looking to get a boyfriend, eating disorders will reduce your sex drive and you will lose interest in boys because you are consumed in your own mess.

Most importantly, eating disorders are mental illnesses which are also classified as diseases. Diseases are what doctors go to school to learn about, diagnose, and treat. The people you should trust most with your mental illness is a doctor. And yes, doctors can be wrong, but you are not limited to one opinion. Also many people argue that some people cannot afford the treatment; like other anti-pro-anas have stated, NEDA will help you find funding and if you really need treatment and want treatment you will get it.

It’s strange to see the same complaints cropping up from the pro-ana community over and over again. Firstly, anti-pro-anas are very rarely rude unless you are rude to them. Secondly, pro-anas all want to be anorexic and take any other diagnosis as a joke. Mental disorders are as equally bad whether or not your like your diagnosis. Stop complaining about the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa. Accept that you have a different disorder and find the help you need to solve that problem. Thirdly, for some reason the greatest form of attack is telling people that they just need to get laid. Getting laid is not going to change the fact that you are a bitch. And finally, this is a public forum, all opinions matter, but some are not accepted on this site. Yes, the freedom of speech bill says you can pretty much say whatever you want. HOWEVER, on this site, you must abide by the rules set by the staff as freedom of speech does not protect you in a forum like this.

And finally, as others have pointed out, eating disorders are not only about losing weight and not eating. It involves a rather complex battle with food. You constantly question whether or not you should eat, not to lose weight, but rather because you are so afraid to gain weight. There are other factors that go into each disorder, but they are not just about being skinny. I have bulimia and believe me, it is not because I want to be skinny (yes, I want to lose weight, but not through purging). Please understand that it is so much more complicated than just weight loss.

Anonymous said to realsocialskills:

How do you feel about self diagnosed autistics

realsocialskills said:

 

I think that autistic people are autistic whether or not that they have been diagnosed. 

      

I think people often know that they are autistic without a doctor telling them that they are. I have absolutely zero problems with someone thinking that they are autistic or wanting help. Even if it turns out that they are mistaken and not actually autistic. That happens sometimes, but I don’t think that’s hurting anyone, and I don’t think it’s a legitimate reason to object to self-diagnosis.

  

I think that people with disabilities need support, coping methods, and accommodations whether or not they’re diagnosed with anything.

  

I think we should move towards a world in which accessibility is seen as routine and normal rather than something people have to beg for access to. As it stands now, support resources for people with disabilities are often drastically limited. That is not the fault of people who identify their problems and support needs without medical diagnosis. Resources are scarce because our culture doesn’t value people with disabilities enough to make support readily available, or to routinely make accessibility and inclusion part of planning in schools, organizations, architecture, workplaces, or anywhere else. That’s the problem. Self-diagnosers who want help are not the problem.

  

There’s this notion that people with disabilities who need to do things differently are somehow trying to get away with something, and that they need to pass an extremely high bar to prove that they can’t help it. That attitude hurts all of us. Hating people who self-diagnose plays into that attitude, and it doesn’t help anyone.

Why I am 100% against self-diagnosis

People should never self-diagnose, especially if they’re teenagers. There’s a reason why it’s much harder to professionally diagnose a teenager than an adult: teenagers are moody, anxious, unhappy and impulsive by nature. If you’re not a professional, you cannot diagnose yourself objectively. You will look at a list of symptoms and think “hey, that sounds just like me, I guess I have Borderline personality disorder, that explains everything!”.

And what’s wrong with that? Well, for starters, you won’t understand how serious mental illnesses are. Just because you are moody and irritable doesn’t mean you’re sick. Google the symptoms for Borderline personality disorder. “Problems with regulating emotions and thoughts, impulsive behavior, unstable relationships with people, distorted and unstable self-image" etc. Now, what teenager doesn’t fit into those?

I’ve seen people self-diagnose and use their “diagnosis” as an excuse to not do things way too many times. Can’t stand school, I have Chronic fatigue syndrome. Got denied a job at a job interview, it’s because I have autism. Go to sleep at 3am every night, I have insomnia.

There is nothing wrong with suspecting you might have a mental illness and checking symptoms, etc, but you are not a professional and you cannot objectively diagnose yourself. If you suspect you are mentally ill, GO TO A PROFESSIONAL. If you can’t afford that, don’t, but don’t go around telling people you have autism or OCD or bipolar disorder when you haven’t been diagnosed. You can say “I have compulsive thoughts” or “I am depressed” or “I have trouble making friends”, or even “I think I might have schizophrenia” without diagnosing yourself.

If and when you do see a professional, tell them you’ve thought about it and you think you might have OCD or schizophrenia or whatever. It will help them.

If you know someone, anyone, who has studied psychology, ask them to take a look. Really, anyone, psychology student or not, would be better at diagnosing you than you yourself, because once again, you can’t look at yourself objectively. You may think that your mood swings are abnormal but people around you probably don’t. Ask them, “Do I have abnormal mood swings?” It’s not that hard.

I can’t tell you what a relief it was not only to give these condition names, but also to start to understand how my body actually works — to be able to analyze how I hear, how I see, how I integrate sensory information, how I speak, how I think, how I move through the world. At this point, I no longer drive myself mercilessly trying to be normal.

Hydrocephalus

Translated as “water on the brain,” hydrocephalus is a condition where cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the ventricles of the brain. With the increase of fluid, the pressure on the brain and skull is increased as well. This usually results in skull enlargement, learning disabilities, seizures, and tunnel vision. There have been several treatments developed to decrease the amount of fluid in the brain, though there is still no way to cure it completely.

In India, an extreme case of hydrocephalus has been reported in a girl named Roona Begum, whose head has swollen to 94 centimeters (37 in) in circumference. Just for reference, the circumference of an average baby’s skull is about 35.5 centimeters (14 in). Her head got to the point where she could barely move, because she was carrying an extra five liters of fluid in her head.

She was being taken care of in a two-room hut in India by her 18-year-old father, who was making a little more than $2 a day. Her head had grown so large she was unable to see because her eyelids had stretched so far upwards. Thankfully, over $60,000 has since been raised for Roona to receive the necessary surgery to release the liquid in her head.

“I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I think I’m broken” – Quote from a 12 year old child with learning disabilities.
Labels have a bad reputation among many in the special needs community. Certainly, labels can be misused. But, if you think your child might be learning disabled, then, believe me: Your child has been labeled.
I got labeled. Way back then, almost no one knew about LD. So, I got labeled. My official diagnosis is minimal brain dysfunction. My unofficial labels included lazy, crazy, stupid, spazzo, retard and so on. Different kids react differently to these labels. I am not sure why. And different kids react to being LD differently, too. Some, like the kid quoted above, feel broken. Some LD children (like me) feel so broken they are suicidal.
So, before y0u shun labels like “LD person”, “Child with a learning disability”, “ADHD”, “Asperger’s”, “HFA”, “Dyslexic” and so on, think about it. Would you rather that label, or the one your child has internalized? Partly, of course, this depends on what your child has internalized. Some LD children have such a strong sense of self (or such a lack of interest in others) that they don’t internalize those bad labels. Others, if they live and go to school in very protective environments, may not even hear those labels that much. But most do hear them and internalize them. And many feel broken.
I’d rather be disabled than broken, wouldn’t you?

Here’s why almost everything you’ll ever hear people in the gifted community say about learning disabilities, twice exceptionality, and misdiagnosis is wrong.

"Researchers in gifted education writing about twice exceptionality continually complain that clinicians who evaluate children lack experience with giftedness; unfortunately, they seem less concerned about their own knowledge of learning disabilities."

Myths targeted include:

1) Gifted kids experience problems only in certain settings, such as a boring classroom, while learning disabled kids have problems everywhere.

2) When the same behavior occurs in gifted people and people with disabilities, it must occur for different reasons.

"researchers who think we can draw a clean distinction between learning disabilities and giftedness based on motivation often misunderstand the motivations of disabled people due to an external perspective.  I think we would be better off pointing to differences in observable behavior."

3) One can and should identify twice exceptional students based on “scatter,” or huge gaps between IQ subtests.

Know anyone in the gifted community who just doesn’t “get it” about disabilities? Please share.

What myths irritate you the most?

When I was seventeen I was diagnosed with BPD. I had been cutting since I was twelve, and I had been starving myself for about a year. My mom was so upset, and she didn’t know how to help. When my mom told my dad, he said that I wasn’t sick. I was just pathetic. He started calling me an animal, and threatening to throw me out of the house. I was on the brink of death from malnourishment. But my mom still stayed by my side. I’m not fully recovered yet. I still hurt all the time. I still have very strong issues. But I hope that one day, when I’m older (I’m 18) I will be able to say I beat this.
—  Anonymous Submission, When the Snow Falls
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