Northwest NEWS

May 28, 2001


Trying to impress others is not worth taking your life

Eating disorders affect 7 million women and 1 million men per year. The government and taxpayers put $40 billion into hospitals and eating disorder organizations yearly. Only 3 percent of those who suffer from these disorders fully recover leaving 97 percent that won't fully recover. Ten percent of females and 5 percent of men will die from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and obesity per year. Fifty-two percent recover with recurring symptoms and 30 percent suffer from a chronic disorder.
   Last year when I was in eighth grade, I suffered from depression. The depression brought me to bulimia and starvation which I used to vent my frustrations. I inflicted starvation and anorexia onto myself for three months. I soon became obsessed with losing weight and I did anything to lose it. I ran for 30 to 45 minutes each day and participated in gymnastics, which I attended six hours a week. At the peak of my disorder I was 30 pounds underweight. I was five feet eight inches tall and weighed 120 pounds.
   I was a walking emaciated skeleton, and I was a disgusting sight to see. I had chicken legs that fit a size one, a stomach that went in further than my ribs, and the sight of every rib was bone chilling. Putting my life on the line to impress myself was pointless. I knew I was better than that.
   I want to discourage teens in junior high and high school from thinking about developing one of these deadly diseases. They cause a lot of emotional stress and depression in friends and families of those who suffer. To risk your life for popularity or beauty isn't worth the pain. Just let yourself and others accept you for who you are and what you look like. Nothing in this world is worth taking your life to impress others.
   Kyle Johnson