Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, and when left untreated, it can have absolutely devastating consequences both mentally and physically. In fact, according to estimated figures, approximately 24 million people in the US have some form of eating disorder.
There is definitely an argument to be had that the fact that pretty much everyone has some form of social media presence online, makes people particularly susceptible to developing severe body image issues. And that’s because it’s still very easy to access the sort of “motivational advice” that encourages their harmful relationship with food.
Now, we’re used to seeing shocking images of anorexic people at their lowest weight; photos in which sufferers are emaciated and almost skeletal in appearance. Such photos really beg the question – what would keep anyone motivated to maintain such a dangerous and isolating lifestyle?
Well, this varies from person to person, some sufferers are very sensitive to social pressures and ideals, and others are motivated by the sense of control they are able to cultivate by rejecting food.
However, on a recent episode of Dr. Phil, a 23-year-old woman – whose anorexia has become life-threatening – has revealed that it’s the attention and shock factor aspect that keeps her disorder alive and well.
Watch her appearance on the popular talk show:
Her name is Jordan Allen, she weighs a dangerously low 75 lbs but in spite of her intentions to continue her dangerous lifestyle, she insists she doesn’t want to die.”My ultimate goal is recovery. I do get a high from it. I would never deny what I really love about it. But in the end, I don’t want to die. It’s terrifying,” she explained. “I don’t have a death wish. I do want to keep losing weight.”
“I do it for attention but in the end, I don’t want to die. I do want to be 75 lbs but I don’t want to die and I can’t have the best of both worlds”
So just how important is the attention aspect of Jordan’s illness? Well, she admitted to Dr. Phil that she wanted to show people that she’s “one of the best anorexics out there.”
“The more severe it’s gotten, the more I’ve enjoyed [people saying] ‘wow she looks like a skeleton’.”
Jordan also confessed that another motivating factor of her disorder was the fact that she wants to “spite” her mother. She explained how her mother said “we’re not helping you this time” in response to the fact that after 10 years, her illness had not improved. So she wanted to spite her by showing her “how bad it’s gotten”.
There is no denying that Jordan’s illness stems from very deep-seated psychological issues. However, with conditions such as eating disorders, it is ultimately up to the sufferer to take matters into their own hands and try as best they can to recover from it.
We wish Jordan the absolute for her health and hope she is able to recover from her eating disorder with the full support from her family.