"Anorexia Nervosa"

Essay by kermitdifrogJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

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Nine out of 10 people that have anorexia nervosa are female. One out of ten cases results in death. This syndrome affects a huge part of our female population. One of my best friends has this condition. Helping her with her everyday highs and lows has helped me come to realize how terrible and heart-breaking this sickness is.

Anorexia nervosa is a highly dangerous disease that involves both the mind and body. People with anorexia always start off by barely eating anything. They become grotesquely skinny and scrawny. However, they are still convinced that they are extremely "fat." Sometimes, they must go to the hospital because they are so malnourished. Even then they deny they have a problem.

My friend's condition started in the sixth grade. She had just joined cheerleading and was extremely ecstatic. However, she felt she was not skinny enough to become a flyer (a job in a squad where you must be lifted by other girls into the air).

She wouldn't eat anything for lunch besides a measly bag of pretzels and a water bottle. She eventually got help, and things did get better. However, she kept most of her habits for the next couple of years. Now, she eats more, but not much more. She will not eat in front of anyone unless it is salad or water. She calls me at night to complain how she has to lose weight and body fat. One time, she told me she realized she is healthy and skinny, but whenever she looks in the mirror, she sees every flaw or little bulge, and dwells upon it forever. I truly felt bad for her, even thought her habits became annoying. I try to get more help for her, but she always refuses her problem.

My friend is not...