Dive into the life of an individual with an eating disorder

Anthony Sipos, Writer

A disorder is the disturbance of the mind or body that affects one’s normal function. This profile is on an individual who suffered from anorexia, which is a disorder characterized by abnormal weight loss due to various factors. Other eating disorders have a similar effect as anorexia, and this articles takes a look at a first person perspective of what the disorder is like.

“My family imposed my body image”

Junior Patrick Vance is an individual that suffered from anorexia. When asked about the cause he stated, “It was mainly due to family pressure from my father’s side.” A negative self-body-image could be caused by pressure from others. He also explains, “I describe anorexia as a self body image because it deals with my thought process at the time, and the fact that my family imposed my body image.” To Vance, the disorder is more of a mental instability rather than a physical block in one’s perception.

“I was 6’1 and 200 pounds… and my lowest was around 120 pounds.”

Anorexia is known to cause tremendous weight loss in a short period of time. Vance noted that he lost all his weight in the matter of roughly eight months. When asked about the symptoms he stated, “I experienced low energy, fatigue, muscle loss, and weakness throughout my body.” He noted that his body didn’t absorb enough nutrients to maintain a healthy structure. Mental instabilities may have also contributed, because of the anxieties concerning his body image.

“It’s a body image issue that’s psychological, which manifests as a physical condition.”

Many people feel that anorexia is associated with how one perceives themselves, rather than how people view the subject. Junior Liam Williams agrees with this statement and states that, “…because it’s shown to us in things such as models, and even magazines that portray an ideal image in our heads which promotes an unnaturally unattainable way to live your life.”

“We first met back in 2nd grade, at the beginning of the school year.”

I’ve asked Williams questions about anorexia and his association with Vance as a whole. When I asked about changes he saw around the time Vance’s anorexia started to manifest he stated, “Physically, he started to look a little different. I noticed his cheeks became more hollow probably in an unhealthy way during eighth grade.” Affected appearance is most likely a result of malnutrition along with tremendous weight loss in a short period of time, though it’s noted that someone with anorexia experiences a long term stressor that may tie into their appearance as a whole. Williams also noted that Vance, “…became a little more quiet and less talkative” over the course of middle school.

“I feel the disorder is more based on the individual experiences rather than it being judged by others.”

Williams notes a similar experience in relation to Vance’s anorexia. Williams stated that he lost roughly eight pounds in a single month. He stated, “I am not sure if it was due to an eating disorder or not.”  He stated he experienced symptoms of “vomiting and feeling mentally off.” These experiences eventually caused stress on his body to the point where he felt “physically ill and mentally upset” along with “significant increase in anxiety levels.”

“Overtime I realized it’s best to go back to normal.”

It can be hard for people to overcome an eating disorder, as it takes a big toll on mental and physical health. Vance was able to make a full recovery by realizing what he’d done wrong to his body. At first he stated, “I was kind of forced to overcome anorexia from my mother’s side,” but overtime “realized it’s best to go back to normal.” His advice to people suffering the disorder is to “Get help from others… and try to overcome your struggles by receiving treatment.”

My family imposed my body image.

— Patrick Vance