A shocking and hidden pro-anorexia movement has been discovered by researchers on the internet. The University of Cincinnati’s communication experts report that there is a developing support type network called the Online Negative Enabling Support Group or ONESG. This “support group” actually embraces anorexia as a lifestyle rather than the reality of what it is which is a serious mental illness. This network is directly encourages eating disorders that can be fatal.
Findings of this research have been published in the New Media and Society Journal and revealed a movement toward pro-anorexia which, according to lead author and professor of communication Stephen Haas, is directly promoting and therefore encouraging dangerous and potentially harmful impulses involving four distinct themes which are: supporting this pro-anorexia movement, how to deal with relatives or friends trying to force healthy eating, self-loathing, and encouraging members to refer to people that are not anorexic as ‘‹Å”outsiders’.
The authors of this study note that embracing self-loathing and its ambivalence along with self-encouragement presents a rather important approach based on the fact that it illustrates the turmoil within participants within the pro-anorexia movement.
Anorexics cling directly to the notion that being as thin as possible will dissipate their ultimate feeling of worthlessness.
The researchers found this secret society, ONESG, by focusing their search on public blogs about anorexia and websites that had recent information from the year 2006 to 2007. Naturally, the mystery within the Internet world makes it essential in understanding how Online Negative Enabling Support Groups have a negative impact on people.
By researching this issue further, the authors of this study believe that they will have a better chance at positively increasing efforts toward helping and reaching out to those online relations that revolve solely around being thin. Therefore, understanding these groups better and the people involved in them could help save the lives of those struggling with this disorder.
It is believed that these pro-anorexia social support groups online generally consist of Caucasian women between 13 and 26 years of age. It is also important for families to know that such societies exist because it can make it increasingly difficult for families to help a relative with an eating disorder if they are being pulled in the opposite direction by such a secretive and damaging society.
Anorexia is a serious disorder that our youth is struggling with more and more as time goes on. Societies such as these are not only damaging but they counteract positive measures trying to be made to help sufferers of eating disorders.
Blanchard, K. RN. Secret Society Encourages Anorexia on Internet. 2011.