A Hypothetical Journey of an Anorexic Girl

  • Insecurities set in for Kayla

    As swimsuit season approaches, magazine coverage of celebrity bikini bodies makes 13-year-old Kayla doubt her appearance. The pubertal proccess has caused her to gain a few extra pounds, and she feels that she should be skinnier.
  • The diet

    Kayla's friend Melissa suggests that they both go on a diet to look thin in their bathing suits.
  • The diet becomes anorexia

    As Kayla sees the number of the scale decrease, she gets excited. She restricts food even more until she's barely eating anything.
  • Avoidance

    Kayla's mother starts to mention that Kayla isn't eating as much and tries to get her to consume more calories. This causes Kayla to schedule to be out for meals so that her parents don't see her not eating. She tells her friends that she ate before coming. She loves how she can see her hip bones.
  • Parental intervention

    After four months, Kayla has lost 20% of her body weight. Her periods have stopped, her hair has thinned, and her body is covered with a fine layer of hair called lanugo. Her parents take her to her doctor and she is diagnosed with anorexia. Her doctor suggests a dietician and a therapist to help Kayla recover.
  • Recognition of her problem

    Under the joint care of her physician, her dietician, and her therapist, Kayla has gained back the weight she lost on an extremely high calorie diet. She has not been allowed to do any exercise. Kayla finally realizes that she was in an unhealthy place, but she still struggles with her demons. Her periods are still not back.
  • Kayla overcomes her demons

    For the first time, Kayla tells her therapist that she can eat without feeling guilty. This is a huge milestone for her and signals that she is getting back to a healthy mindset.
  • Kayla's periods resume

    Kayla's periods return. This marks her full physical recovery.
  • Kayla stops therapy

    Kayla has her last therapy session. She has maintained a healthy weight for a year and no longer feels guilty when she eats. When she sometimes feels herself cutting down on food, she addresses the real stressor. Her health care team is happy with her recovery.