Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Impact of Pro-ana Websites?

Frampton, I. (2008). Practitioners' toolkit. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 13(4), 207.

“In this way, a pro-ana mythology has been allowed to develop, reinforced by a lack of publication from the research sector and undifferentiated observations in the mass media” (Frampton, 2008, p. 96-98).

Although many attempts have been made to restrict pro-anorexia (pro-ana) activists from glorifying anorexia on the web, it has been found that using such measures have no impact on the number of websites that are available online.  Pro-anorexia or pro-ana websites have gained widespread virtual popularity.  These websites are viewed in 1 of 2 ways, either as a positive form or a negative form of information.  Pro-ana websites promote anorexia for women as a way of life rather than as a mental illness that should be treated.  These forms teach people suffering from anorexia how to disguise their extreme diets from friends, families and to seem like they are living a regular, healthy life diet-wise.  Practioners’ Toolkit addresses how practitioners and clinicians have very little knowledge on the effect of internet communication in terms of these pro-ana websites.  They do not know how to address them or how to identify them and that these websites should be researched much more thoroughly.

Pro ana (2008). Retrieved from http://www.freewebs.com/thinanabfly/

“First of all I would just like to say that this site is not for wannarexics its for people that are currently experiencing anorexia or have been diagnosed with it and want some support.  This website has lots of things to help you with and hopefully for you to meet other people with an ED. Any age, any gender, no matter who you are you are welcome to this site ...”

This is the home page of a pro-ana website.  This explains the positive aspect of having a pro-ana website, which is to create a safe community where people can talk about their anorexia.  This website provides information on “weight management, covering up, songs, quotes, reasons 2 b thin, other sites, bmi chart, bmr calculator, height weight, myths, and statistics” for anorexics.  The section on “Covering Up” includes ways to hide anorexia from doctors, family members, friends and the general public.  This is one of the reasons that makes pro-ana websites so controversial, because they promote how to disguise their mental illness which makes it more difficult for people to help anorexics get help.

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