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Psychiatr Pol. 2010 Sep-Oct;44(5):693-702.

[Friends of virtual Ana--the phenomenon of pro-anorexia in the Internet].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

  • 1Oddzial Psychiatrii i Psychoterapii Wieku Rozwojowego Centrum Pediatrii im. Jana Pawła 11 w Sosnowcu.


Anorexia nervosa is regarded as a serious mental disturbance, where denial of illness and strong resistance to treatment are symptomatic features. In many cases it leads to extreme devastation or even to death. Effective treatment of this disorder still remains a challenge for clinicians and researchers. Since the 90-ies of the previous century there has been a rise in the free access to the internet. At present over a billion people all over the world use it. What young people look for in the internet is not only information, but also friends, support or entertainment. For last a few years, a phenomenon of pro-anorexia has been present in the Internet, connecting people who claim that anorexia is a "lifestyle" rather than a deadly illness, which should be treat. They communicate with each other through the internet blogs, forums and popular social networking sites, creating a virtual community. The pro-ana community is made up of adolescent girls and young women who decide on dieting. Pro-anorexia is still a poorly known phenomenon, especially in Poland. It seems to be very important to take a note on this phenomenon in the face of an increasing prevalence of eating disorders in the last years.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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