If you feel the need to “try to be anorexic”, then you probably do have an illness.
If you feel the need to not eat and feel bad when you do, then you probably do have an eating disorder.
If you feel the need to tell other people that they don’t have an eating…
Actually, I think you missed my point. You act like “wanting” is a dichotomous variable, when in fact it is rarely as simple as “want” or “don’t won’t” (even in recovery, I’m almost constantly somewhere between wanting to get healthier and wanting to get more ill - it’s very rarely all-or-nothing). Also, the majority of “proanas” don’t actually promote anorexia or start engaging in disordered behaviours solely in response to these sites; they tend to seek out people who understand what they are going through and fall into the wrong crowd, so to speak. It’s actually their disordered minds which keep them there (I mean, have you been on these sites? They can be extremely cruel towards members). And, in response to those criticisms (which, surprise surprise, are often internalised and backed up by their distorted cognitions), they tend to “try harder”. All of this IS very characteristic of an eating disorder: competition, self-criticism, not believing they are “ill enough”, feeling the need to “go further”. Anyway, my main point with my addition to the original post, was that it is actually very disordered and quite like the nature of “proana” to put others down for not having a “real” eating disorder. It’s actually quite likely that enforcing this “us and them” mentality is driven by disordered thoughts and wanting to somehow validate your own disorder.
I think we are in agreement with most things. I agree that proanas engage in eating disorder like behaviors… But that’s not an ed. Most of them don’t have EDs. If they have to start their diets over or “skip a day” then they don’t. Sorry. EDs don’t work like that. Also, I agree that the pro-ana community can worsen EDs- it’s happened to many APAC bloggers and made their EDs worse.. But is it caused by proana? No. It can trigger someone who is genetically predisposed, but it doesn’t “cause” an ED.
APA isn’t about putting people down. If someone didn’t sleep for one night but then claims they are an insomniac, is that okay? No. Or saying that mild nervousness is an anxiety disorder? No. It’s harmful to people who actually suffer from these things. Most people in APAC have/had EDs and want their illness to stop being treated like a joke. THAT’S IT. it’s not a competition. It’s facts and knowledge. Even if a pro-ana has a diagnosed ED or whatever other issues, does that mean what they are doing is okay? No.
Even though we agree on most things, I stand by the original post. Proana is really harmful to people with real, diagnosed EDs and it offends a lot of people when they refer to their harmful diets as anorexia or “Ana”.
Do I think proanas are dealing/sick with something? Yes. And honestly I don’t really care because that doesn’t excuse shitty behavior that can harm people since tumblr is public and people can easily find it. That’s why APAC always says to make blogs password protected if proanas have a blog “just for themselves” and not attention. (Also, notice how there isn’t much pro-mia or pro-EDNOS. That’s because proanas don’t want those. They only want the ~~glamorous~~ ED. They only want to be ~perfect~ and ~frail~ like in their precious thinspo. So yeah. Stop ED hierarchy 2k14.)
EDIT: Why did you put “real” in quote in your last few sentences? It’s “real” if you are diagnosed. Many proanas also claim to 1) have anorexia even if they aren’t underweight 2) have 2 different EDs at the same time, which is impossible 3) flip around their symptoms when someone calls them out to try and prove they have an ED. They usually don’t.
The thing is, some people on those less healthy sites do actually have an eating disorder (maybe not absolutely everyone on them, but there certainly are some). You’re painting them all with the same brush, and that can be VERY damaging with the mental state that comes with eating disorders. Also, by saying that a “real” disorder is if you are diagnosed, it follows that only a clinician can judge whether or not somebody is diagnosed, which completely goes against your stance that proana’s don’t have eating disorders and are just making a joke of these illnesses. Nevermind the fact that MANY psychologists and medical practitioners are against 1) diagnoses based on weight criteria and 2) strict categories of eating disorders. Research actually shows that people DO flip between the different disorders - we DON’T keep strictly to our specific diagnosis. Plus, if we did stick to weight criteria, how about somebody originally diagnosed with AN, who then gains weight in recovery, but then relapses with exactly the same behaviours and cognitions as pre-recovery? They are still experiencing the same symptoms but they no longer meet the weight criteria for AN. Does this really mean that they now have EDNOS, and not AN?
Anyway, perhaps we should just agree to disagree, because I’d rather not waste more time discussing eating disorders - they have already taken up way too much of my time and energy.