Ana worship

Anorexia is a cult for some young women, and it has its own goddess, Ana. (Use “bugmenot69” and “Beranek” for a sign-in and password.) From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Best friend and bully, Ana tells (Kasey) Brixius when to eat and when to exercise. She applauds or mocks Brixius’ grades and weight. And she demands obedience and devotion. Brixius regularly reads or recites the Ana Creed or Ana Psalm she found on the Internet.

“Ana is definitely a higher power, not higher than God, but higher than myself,” said Brixius, who is from Hot Springs, S.D., and attends Minnesota State University, Mankato. “That’s how it is for a lot of people.”

. . . On many websites, the deadly starvation disease, the most fatal of all mental health disorders, is developing a cult-like following complete with pro-anorexia commandments, psalms, prayers and moonlight rituals in which loyalty to the goddess Ana (short for anorexia) is sealed in blood.

Eating disorders are associated with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior, and starvation doesn’t do much for rational thinking. But this sounds like schizophrenia.

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Comments

  1. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    Joanne Jacobs wrote:

    Eating disorders are associated with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behavior, and starvation doesn’t do much for rational thinking. But this sounds like schizophrenia.

    The bizarre groups don’t surprise me but I don’t think anorexia is like shizophrenia.

    Years ago a colleague had daughter who suffered anorexia. At one time she (the daughter) thought it would help herself and other aorexics cure their compulsions to form a support group, more or less like AA, weight watchers, and other self-help groups.

    My colleague reported that the result was precisely opposite. The group members began competing with each other to become thinner.

    It is a very complex and vexing mental disorder, and one which has strong social and familial components. But I don’t think it is like schizophrenia.

  2. I find something deeply creepy about anthropomorphizing a pathology.

    It’s like making friends with your executioner.