Deadly Eating Disorders in Social Media

Social media has become one of the leading causes of a variety of deadly eating disorders such as, bulimia, Binge eating, purging, but most commonly, anorexia nervosa . The director of external affairs for the eating disorder charity said that content supporting disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, has spread through social media like wildfire. Jade, age nineteen, has experienced an eating disorder since she was eleven.

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She says that “due to the romanticism of the posts, I believed that it was completely normal to starve myself and engage in other self-harming behaviors”. ( Instagram Urged to Crack Down on Eating Disorder Images page 3) The director of external affairs for the eating disorder charity claims that such content can be highly suggestive and harmful to those struggling with anorexia.

People with eating disorders such as anorexia can be greatly harmed by social media sites promoting anorexia targeted content. Young men and women are displaying their protruding ribs and backbones on websites promoting anorexia, and celebrating self- inflicted starvation.( Pro-Anorexia Forums Pop Up on the Web page 1) There are many hashtags on social media supporting various eating disorders such as #proana, #bulimia, #anorexia. Since July, terrified health professionals at eating disorder clinics across the country have been monitoring hundreds of such sites, which they claim, pose a serious danger by promoting dangerous eating disorders. ( Pro-Anorexia Forums Pop Up on the Web page 1) This influence from social media has been the cause of many cases of anorexia.

Society has played a major role in the cause of anorexia nervosa. From the beginning of time, it has been universal knowledge that society dictates what is right and what is wrong. Believe it or not, most cases of Anorexia start with someone being told that they are fat, or “ You really can’t fit into that?”. Young women, that where overwhelmed by pressure to be perfect from their suffocating parents, their demanding schools, and pressure to makes life altering decisions. They use anorexia as a way to control their lives.( Fighting Anorexia: no one to blame page 3)

Negative body-image, depression, social media, and society are directly linked to anorexia. Even so, some experts claim that anorexia is caused by genetics and not mental illness. In a study, the risk for anorexia in relatives of a person with the disorder turned out to be eleven times higher than average. (Anorexia Nervosa–part 2 page 3) European researchers announced that around eleven percent of anorexic, compared to four point five percent of controls, carried a certain form of the gene for a hormone that stimulates appetite. (Anorexia Nervosa Part– I page 3) These studies claim that genetics can cause anorexia. Even so, researchers are still trying to determine if anorexia is external or internal.

Experts agree that the biggest causes of anorexia is a negative body image, depression, social media and the influence of society. Anorexia has had an impact on the lives those suffering from this horrible disease. Anorexia is caused by internal and external forces. Anorexia can occur when a little girl is told that she is too fat to wear the pretty dress, when someone is struggling with depression, when vulnerable people see content on social media praising the starvation of others, when society dictates that people have to be a size two to be considered beautiful. No matter the case, anorexia is still an eating disorder that affects the mental well being of those inflicted by it.

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