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JESM

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Mar 20, 2005
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2
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1
What's wrong with pro ana sites?

Everyone has a choice in life on what they want to do and don't want to do, no body is forced into anything on those sites, you can't force a disease onto someone so i don't understand why people don't just leave it be.

people have a right to express them selves in what ever they want.
 

David Baxter

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What's wrong with them? Where do I start?

Let me ask you a question: Where would you draw the line?

Pro ana sites encourage and normalize attitudes and behaviors that are dangerous and life-threatening. They tend to target the young and vulnerable and act in a way that helps to convince these individuals that their distorted thinking and self-destructive behavior is "normal" and "desirable".

See:

There are also pro-suicide sites. Would you support those?

There are pro-racism, pro-violence, pro-hatred sites. Would you support them?

Where do you draw the line between free speech and the protection of vulnerable people, especially children?
 

Mari

MVP
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Jan 28, 2007
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JESM Do you know how many people are dying from following the information on the pro ana sites? Do you know how many hearts have been broken? The pro suicide sites imparted to my son that the only solution to his depression was suicide and in his vulnerable state he followed through on their advice. One of his dear friends had been on the pro ana sites and after my son died she totally stopped eating. Now she is eating just enough to stay alive. I do not know if all the hearts that were broken when my son died will ever mend and if his dear friend dies there will be many many more broken hearts. I did not know about these pro death sites before my son died and now I just do not know what to do but I do not want more people to suffer. :heart: Mari
 

ThatLady

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Let me put it this way, JESM:

Shall we put up sites for those who have diabetes, teaching them that they should eat plenty of sugar and carbohydrates (the foods they tend to crave, but that drive their blood glucose out the roof) and ignore all the doomsayers who tell them they may lose their vision, or their legs, or their lives if they insist on continuing with poor eating habits?

Shall we set up a place for those who have heart disease to go - one where they can talk to others who agree that getting no exercise, eating a high fat diet, and ignoring the advice of their doctors by not taking their medications is perfectly fine for them to do?

Think about it. Does that really sound like a good thing to do? What about the families of these people? Is anybody thinking about them?
 

Misha

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Oct 4, 2006
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I spent much time on pro-ana sites for a while at one stage of my illness. Often, I would be on the computer for 12 hours a day. I loved the community, I loved the encouragement I got from others, I loved the inspiration I felt from looking at pictures of emaciated girls. Remember: the girls who go to these sites are those who hear almost nothing positive about themselves anywhere else. They go to a site where they are encouraged and provided with compliments, and of course they are going to stay.

My time on pro-ana sites became an addiction. My eating disorder got worse and I lost weight at a dangerous rate, even in hospital. The staff did not know I was still logging onto these sites. Then one day things changed. I was doing the rounds on the site of posting encouraging messages to each member in their weight loss, when I read one close friend's update.

She had been doing laundry the day before when she fell. And she didn't get up... at least not in time to go get her 5 year old son from school. So the poor child waited....and waited. I have a soft spot for children, and I realized something. One day she wasn't going to pick him up at all. Here I was telling his 80lb mother that she needed to lose more weight because it was her right to be thin and that 'the godess Ana' wanted her to, and there was a 5 year old boy waiting on the steps to his kindergarten. Sure, I had finally found friends. But I was killing them and they were killing me. I will never live down that guilt because I know that at least some of those girls will not make it.

There is a concept that most girls on pro-ana don't understand, that most people on the internet don't understand, and that is social responsiblity. Pro-ana sites are only one example. We are creating for ourselves on the internet a society that we can't have in the real world: one without responsiblity. And there is no responsibility because of the anonymity. It is a society where we can encourage eating disorders and look at hard core porn, where we can learn to make pipe bombs and join terrorist groups. The list is long. But we need to do something. There must be a mandate for social change, for social responsiblity in this internet world.
 

David Baxter

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There is a concept that most girls on pro-ana don't understand, that most people on the internet don't understand, and that is social responsiblity. Pro-ana sites are only one example. We are creating for ourselves on the internet a society that we can't have in the real world: one without responsiblity. And there is no responsibility because of the anonymity. It is a society where we can encourage eating disorders and look at hard core porn, where we can learn to make pipe bombs and join terrorist groups. The list is long. But we need to do something. There must be a mandate for social change, for social responsiblity in this internet world.

I totally agree. It is a point I have been trying to make for some time, including in my blog posts.
 

Mari

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Dear Misha - I think your response was excellent but I do want to comment on one what part that shows how difficult it is to understand all the issues.

"Remember: the girls who go to these sites are those who hear almost nothing positive about themselves anywhere else."

My son's friend is a beautiful and brilliant young woman who is very much loved by her family and friends. She receives many positive affirmations not only from her family and friends but also within the professional community that she belongs to. My son was a wonderful and brilliant young man who was much loved and who received many awards in academics and athletics.

I guess you could say that they 'hear almost nothing positive about themselves' but not because it is not being said but because something is counteracting the message. If I could understand this it might help bring me some peace. I appreciate your words and sincerely hope you are hearing the positive messages now. :heart: Mari
 

Misha

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Messages
337
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Thank you Mari, that is exactly what I meant by that statement, left it open so people could read into it as they needed to.
I have come far in my recovery (although today is a bad day...grrr...) and the positive statements and positive days are becoming so much more abundant and easier to recognize.
I have such a heart now for the world that I left. I desire so much make a difference in the lives of others who have had similar experiences, to make others see that this internet world where we tell girls to starve themselves is not right. I don't know how to do that though, and I know that for the most part I can not begin to do that until I am pretty well done and clear out of treatment myself.
I just hope that others can see my story and change.
 
Joined
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951
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i am anorexic and although the sites did not make me anorexic i will admit they did nopt help me realise that what i was doing would eventually lead to many inconvieniences and illnesses.. when you are dead thin the other girls on the site dont tell you to be carefull or to start eating they will tell you to take vitamines or to drink something no calories in it so you will lose aome more .. and a true friend would rush you to the hospital to get help ... they told me to lose more when my bmi was far under what it was supposed to be and what happened i ended up in the hospital for the 6th time so yes they are harmfull and although i don't trully believe they cause the illness but they certainly don't help it.
yours trully ashley
 

JESM

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Mar 20, 2005
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1
Thats just it, I have visited those sites and read them all of them from the little ones to the big no where have I read you must do this. In fact those who run the site say if you are looking to get ill go else where. I understand that suicide sites show you, tell you how to but its the person who does it who is in control not those on the site. A person knows how to harm themseles how to not eat how to drown there sorrows in alcohol or drugs. No one forces them to do such acts. I will agree ana sites, suicide sites aren't good but people can't take others views or rights away, if they want to talk to one another they will through online diaries or msn or email. it wont stop them, they simply go under ground so to speak. So wouldn;t it be better to back off instead of causing more young girls to become in bedded wit the negative thoughs? I mean it obvious that magaines and others comments wont help, many young girls dont have anything positive in their lives or that they have control of so of course the disease or want of ana is there for control. I am a former sufferer so if anyone has the right to say this i think i do. I used to be on them and never got anything form them the tips are stupid, the hints are too, dangeruos maybe but again it comes back to the person reading it willing to do it... not forced to do it willing to do it for attention to fit in or other reasons. I'm sorry if this offends someone but it annoys me that you have a.a meetings, diabeties meetings ect yet its not okay to allow sites that actually do have a recovery section and how to get better or those who change theri sites to recovering ones take off.
 

David Baxter

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JESM:

1. I think you underestimate the power of peer pressure, especially on the young, that these pro-ana sites generate

2. I also think you underestimate the authority factor, again especially with the young, that is generated by an internet website, no matter how off-base and inaccurate the information on the site may be

3. Nobody is suggesting that recovery sites and anti-pro-ana sites shouldn't exist to counter the malignancy of pro-ana sites. See http://forum.psychlinks.ca/showthread.php?t=6093 and especially http://www.webiteback.com.
 
Joined
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951
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16
they don<t force you to do anything cause lets face it they can<t but with this disease we feel so lost so misunderestood by everyone around us because they just can<t get why we do this to ourselves therefore we trust theses site because the claim to understand our disease and in other weays they are just like us so we fallow them they know best and they makeus believe that we are not ill and then what is the harm of starving ourselves if it is not a disease no need to pforce us to do anything by telling us that this disease is not harmful they do just that
ashley
 

Mari

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Dear Dr. Baxter

Over the weekend I was thinking about saying thank-you for speaking out against various 'pro-death' sites. Most people I speak with refuse to even consider them as a serious threat to vunerable people. I think that JESM's comments show how insidious the pro-ana and other such 'pro-death' sites are. I think that the mention of diabetes by JESM is interesting because my brother-in-law is in advanced stage of diabetes and I hope that there are not sites encouraging diabetics to follow dangerous practices in order to hasten their death. Thank-you and I hope you are feeling better. :dimples: Mari
 
Joined
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Messages
951
Points
16
i see what you mean they never do force you and yes they are very open sometime and if you don<T want to be that way anymore you are free to change but the thing is when you feel expelled from everyone around you the fact that you have these "friends" that can help you and guide you is reashurin i don<t condem these girls cause they are ill as well and lok for some release somehow and i was amounst them and must admit still am in my less good days when i feel i need to be understood better but i find that if these sites were transformed in better uses such as aiding people in there recovery we would not be were we are today with e-ds in my case i was anorexic before these sites so i don't blame them for how i am now i just don't believe they are any good cause they don't tell you to stop they don't tell youy it is bad.. like someone who is suicidal no one in there right mind will say good suicide is a solution we will tell them get help and that is what people should tell girls with e-ds to get help .
yours trully ashley
if you have any more question i will be glad to answer them or even prolong this discussion
p-m me
 

David Baxter

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Thank you, Mari.

Ashley, your posts in this thread are very insightful and obviously coming from your heart and your experience. Very well said!

It may not always feel that way to you, but I have read your posts over the past couple of years and I must say they are showing maturity and definite progress toward recovery and health. Try not to become discouraged if progress in one or two areas seems to expose lack of progress in others. That is common for people who are trying to overcome several issues.
 

Mari

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:dimples: Ashely-Kate

"i don<t condem these girls" Very good point and helpful for sorting out some of the confusion. I do not think anyone is saying that these sites cause anorexia or objecting to girls chatting about their difficulties. The problem is with the people who run the sites and who encourage dangerous behaviour. I have not checked on pro-ana sites but I have been doing background checks on the people who run the pro-suicide sites in Canada and the USA. JESM might be interested to know that the people who run the sites are people with money and time who appear to run the sites simply as a form of amusement. They actually congratulate each other each time they learn about another death. :mad: Mari
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
951
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16
i know what you mean and i agree with you they are not like little devile that try to detroy you r life they just aid you in doing so you are the one that decides njot them but they don't give you all the details all they do is tell you how goo dit will make you feel after .. i know it is some what confusing i know it cause i am in that situation i go to those sites there is realy nice people there and they are not mean at all but the thing is these girls all of them us included are ill and by talking to each other this way won't help us and we can't live as anorexics we have to get better that is why i find is sad and i believe it is incorrect because no one should live like this
yours trully ashley
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Messages
951
Points
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thank you very much for the comments on the posts i just can't help to see that some people see this disorder as anything close to being good. i know were they come from and i still try to think other wise but sometimes it sadens me to see that these girls suffer and some so yung and they are trying to do anything to camofloge the sufforing. but lets face it when you are ready to starve yourself to death and convince others it is the only way then you are not well. i am at a point i learned all i need to know about this disabeling disease i have had my share of hospitlisation and in some ways i hate this disease and in others she is my best friend and that is a battle i must figth every day till i grow stronger the real "I" i once asked if i was meant to dye of anorexia and that is still a question i ask mysef farely often will i allow it i don't know but if that were ever to hapen i want everyone in my familly and my friends and everyone on this site to know that i never gave up the battle that no matter what i wanted to get better but must i admit again .. i contradict myself a part of me so longs to be healthy and the other part struggles with the need to stay ill the sad truth that i feel this is the life i desearve even if i trully believe i don't deserve to feel this way i don
't deserve it and no one does i still have a hard time i know but i also know i can better and maybe will one day but i really have some difficulties to work before i can actually say i will never relapse or at the moment i will get better . but all i can say is i know i can i know now that i have a disease not a friend not a safety a disease.
yours trully ashley
 

Misha

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Ashley-Kate,
I understand so well that constant head-battle of wanting recovery but then wanting to stay ill, thinking in your head "oh, I can just do it one more time, lose the weight one last time and be thin again." But we need to fight the voice of our ED and strive towards recovery - because that needs to be the only option for us. For me, anyways, as long as being ill is an option, the temptation to take that route is soooo strong. But when I tell myself that I can't choose that path..... well, I don't. It's hard work, I've been in this treatment program forever, my body image is shot, and most days I just want to give up.... but in the end I"m doing it and I'm doing it right. I hope that you get there too. I am thinking about you and I hope that you can fight your ED thoughts and turn from them into recovery.
Misha
 

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