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Living With Anorexia: Lizzy

A teen turned to dieting as a way of dealing with strong emotions, and later started her own anorexia-focused web site.

Her Own Anorexia Web Site continued...

I also have a nutritionist, and she's taught me that food is something that you can't just ignore, that there are certain things your body needs. It's helped to learn what starvation does to your organs.

I was also in family therapy for awhile, and that helped me to learn to talk about things instead of abusing my body to express myself. But my parents and I haven't really talked about it in a long time. I think their point of view is that everything's fine because I don't tell them otherwise. But it's not.

I don't know if it's possible to get past my anorexia completely. It seems like I've given a good portion of my life to it, and even if I stop restricting and take down my web site, I don't know if I'll ever be completely happy with the way I look.

 

Tips for Spotting Anorexia

The more people know about the symptoms and the warning signs, the better, I think. If parents had more education about the symptoms of eating disorders and what to look for in their kids, that could help and get a lot of kids the treatment they need before they're in a desperate situation.

Here are some of the things to watch for:

  • If your child is wearing multiple layers, especially baggy clothing. We get cold easily and it also helps to hide weight loss.
  • If he or she is picking at their food a lot, but not really eating.
  • If they go off before mealtimes, they're probably taking diet pills, and if they run off somewhere right after a meal, they're probably purging -- especially if it smells like vomit, or too much like soap.
  • If they're changing their hairstyle a lot, it may mean that they're trying to hide their hair falling out, especially if they're wearing hats or putting it in a ponytail.
  • If they start closing all their Internet windows whenever you walk by, they have something to hide.

I'm not in college right now. I'm living at home with my parents because I had to leave school after I was found to be self-injuring.

But someday, I'd like to be a therapist. I've been on one side of the couch, and I figure my experiences there would give me an insight. I'd really like to work with teenagers and be a high school counselor, because after all, I know what they're going through.

Published on Aug. 11, 2005.

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