I am an anorexic. I hate it, but I can't stop doing what I'm doing. How can I go about this? I am a 16
year old female.
Anorexia is a serious problem for may people, especially girls and young women. Because of the medical
complications that can develop, it is potentially life threatening. My first suggestion is to get help from someone
locally as soon as possible.
The causes of anorexia are pretty complex, but usually people who suffer from this disorder have underlying
problems. These problems may be with feeling the need to be perfect (which is impossible, so you never measure
up) or from having parents who place extremely high expectations on you, which can result in feelings of being
controlled, as well as extreme stress and anxiety.
Others may also suffer from feelings that they are not good enough as a person, or that their body does not look
good enough. Sometimes it has to do with an unconscious wish to not grow up, or struggling with the bodily changes
that occur as girls become young women. Often girls who have been sexually abused or who are parented by
someone who has been sexually abused have difficulty with her developing sexuality which results in eating
disorders. And sometimes it is a medical problem. Have you seen the movie about Karen Carpenter's life story? If
not, you may want to check it out.
Regardless of the cause, professional help is usually required to address the eating problems as well as the
underlying cause. You may want to read my response to a similar question written by a 14 year old who needed professional help
but did not want her parents to be involved. You can read that response by going here.
No matter what else you do, talk to your parents or a trusted adult about your problem and find a professional in
your area who can help you.
LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
Author of Growing up Sane (in uncertain times)
Seminar Leader Growing Well Adjusted Kids
Editor-in-Cheif Person to Person: Strengthening Youth & Families
Telephone Counselor Affinity Counseling Center
Affinity Books & Resource Center: Your Source for Emotional Wellness