Wannarexia; 5 Crazy Facts About It


Do you know that many teenage girls suffer from an eating disorder, which is yet not diagnosable? Wannarexia is a psychological illness which refers to a disorder in which someone wants to be anorexic. Yes, they are not really anorexic. But due to peer pressure, fashion trends, or unhealthy body image, these people feel like they need to lose weight. With the new and surreal trends going viral on social media, more and more girls are influenced into adapting to eating disorders and other depression symptoms.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious and fatal eating disorder that has the highest mortality rate in the U.S. One in 200 people in America has anorexia. The symptoms of the illness are malignant and obvious. It is an actual eating disorder in which a person is not able to eat due to psychological imbalance. Resultantly, they experience significant weight loss and health-related problems.

On the other hand, wannarexia is characterized by the desire to be “known” as an anorexic. Younger girls are impressed by what they see on social media. There are certain blogs that promote anorexia and strict dieting in the name of “healthy” eating. These blogs influence these girls to be a part of them. The newer generations, Gen Z and Alpha Z are mostly seen falling for the scam. It’s the new “cool” for them. The same goes for other mental disorders. Teenagers follow these famous trends they see on Instagram and Tiktok. They believe they need to be depressed to be part of the league. This has become a major concern because young people are the future. If we do nothing to help them fight these disorders, all the future generations might have to suffer as well.

Not much research has been done on wannarexia yet. The term is only used by a few authors and teenagers who are aware of its occurrence. It is also known as “anorexia yearning” and the people who have it are called “anorexic wannabe”. Kelsey Osgood is a young author from Brooklyn who used the term in her first book, How to Disappear Completely. In this book, she puts light on how difficult it can be to treat anorexia or wannarexia. She has painted an eye-opening picture through stories of people she has met who were wannabe anorexics.

Even though the disorder is not well known, a lot of teenage girls are wannarexics. Depression symptoms vary from one individual to another. It could present with anger, anxiety, self-harm, and other complicated illnesses–wannarexia being one of them. When you google the word anorexia, you will see a lot of information and research on the eating disorder. But if you search for wannarexia, you won’t be able to find many articles.
However, I have compiled some mind-blowing and crazy facts about wannarexia that you would want to know. If you want to learn more about it, you need to keep reading.

1. Imaginary Disease

Yes, wannarexia is not really an eating disorder. It has no physical manifestations either. It is only an imaginary disease. It is like a fantasy. Some people like to live in this fantasy where they think they will be awarded a crown for being an anorexic.
Teenagers these days glorify mental and eating disorders. And if you want to become a part of the “cool” clique, you ought to have a label. It is as disturbing as it sounds.
These people also use purple and red bands to identify themselves.
A wannarexic may make social media posts about being an anorexic or how they do not want to eat. They pretend to have the illness and try to duplicate the traits of the actual disorder. There are a lot of blogs where teenage girls support weight loss. There is an entire mafia to support unhealthy eating. But they refer to it as “healthy eating”. This is mostly seen in Asian countries. The Korean ideal body image is somewhat like that of an anorexic. There are several YouTube videos on how to lose bodyweight. And the goal isn’t a healthy body. The end result is far below the BMI. These girls are actually underweight. They have thin lean bodies that they call “perfect”. But in reality, it isn’t. The problem arises when many of the girls watch these videos and try to follow their diet plans. This craze for skinny bodies has taken over the internet already.

2. Mental Disorder and Wannarexia

There are a variety of factors that make a person fantasize about this illness. It could be due to a history of depression, suicide ideation, sexual abuse, childhood trauma. Depression symptoms may present with eating disorders or other psychological problems.
When a person is suffering from depression, they become hopeless. Sometimes, it causes them to develop bizarre habits. The purpose is to have a meaning in life which differentiates them from other people. Or to have a secret that makes them think that they are special. It is like a coping mechanism.
It is also seen in people who suffer from insecurity and inferiority complex. Even though they are introverted, they think if they can become part of these anorexic cliques, they will be seen and heard. Even though these people are not true anorexics but they wish to be. So they adopt certain traits and behavior which would make other people think that they have anorexia.
Mental disorders can present with various depression symptoms. Anorexia and other eating disorders are one of them. And EDNOS, eating disorders not otherwise specified also fall in that category.

3. No Weight Loss

When we hear the word anorexia, we think of someone who is underweight. Someone whose bones are highlighted and has no muscle mass. But the wannarexics are not the same. They either have a normal weight or may even be overweight. But they constantly tell other people that they want to lose weight. They show off their strict diet schedule.
They keep saying that they are going to eat less but don’t do so. However, a true anorexic does not do so. They do not boast about their eating habits because they are constantly struggling. They don’t “choose” to be anorexic. But it is their mental instability or other issues that cause them to develop the eating disorder.

4. Attention Seeking

As for someone who has anorexia, they are quite subtle in their behavior. Even though they experience major weight loss and other symptoms, they try their best to hide it. They like to keep it a secret and not show it off. They hide their eating habits, weight scales, and struggles.
However, a wannarexic keeps telling everyone that they want to lose weight all the time. They would say things like, “I skipped dinner because I am trying to lose weight.” Or that “Sorry, I cannot eat that I am on a diet.” But the truth is different. They eat almost everything. Even though they make a diet plan, they do not follow it.
They just want everyone to think that they have anorexia. But despite they do not meet the criteria of anorexia.

5.Progress to Anorexia

One detrimental result of wannarexia is that it is pro ana. It can progress to anorexia without any warnings.
After a while of pretending and wanting, these people might actually develop an eating disorder. Eating disorder tests can be used to identify the two. Because there is a danger of anorexia with these people, it needs to be monitored and avoided.
Even though not many people are aware of this illness or how dangerous it can be, we need to be aware of the difference between anorexia and wannarexia. And how to differentiate between the two. Only then we will be able to create awareness against wannarexia. This could begin with helping people with their self-hate, encouraging a fit body instead of dieting, and avoiding unreal body images. Celebrities and bloggers can make a huge difference by promoting self-love among young girls. Media platforms should be used to create awareness so we can avoid such conditions.





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