Those who wish to recover or help a loved one recover from an eating disorder can find thousands of helpful resources online. There a number of sites that offer tips on fighting the mental illness, spotting warning signs and preventing (the onset of) eating disorders.
Anyone who wants to learn more about the disorders to increase the chance of recovery can also surf the internet. The sad part, according to Eating disorder help centers such as EDCare, is that there are also websites that promote or support behaviors associated with eating disorders.
Pro-anorexia (pro-ana) and pro-bulimia (pro-mia) sites feature blogs, photos, resources and forums intended for those with anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. The thing with such resources is that they motivate sufferers to stay or become super thin.
Pro-ana sites are not intended for those who consider themselves ill or those who are in the process of recovery. They are for those who believe that having anorexia will help them achieve perfection and happiness.
They are for those who regard their eating disorder as the right lifestyle choice and want to receive respect and admiration for that choice.
Manipulation of Minds
While these sites claim to support people with the said disorders, they don’t consider anorexia or bulimia as a form of mental illness. They promote unhealthy and dangerous behaviors and manipulate the minds of those with the disorders.
The worst part is that many of these websites offer exclusivity, making people believe that they belong in some sort of community.
Not Supporting Recovery
Contrary to what pro-ana and pro-mia websites claim, any type of eating disorders is not a lifestyle choice. They are serious mental illnesses that need professional help and treatment.
It is very harmful to turn to these websites as they can only exacerbate the illness and offer tips, stories and photos that support the choice of not going into recovery.
Full healing and recovery from an eating disorder are possible with the right help and resources. Pro-ana and pro-mia sites are not one of those. Getting support from friends and family as well as professionals will help one understand and overcome barriers to full recovery.