Luciana Cáncer is an accountant by profession and a brand new writer. She published her first book called “A place saved for something” she tells of her adolescence marked by distance from her father, a confused couple, and anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa is a severe and life-threatening disease. Weight loss is accompanied by the panic of gaining weight and brings the self-perception of a distorted body image.
This disease has the highest death rate of all psychiatric illnesses.
In Argentina, between 12 per cent and 15 per cent of adolescents suffer from anorexia or bulimia nervosa. 90% of the patients are women, while the remaining 10 per cent are men.
In addition, with the pandemic, the cases increased dramatically.
“From September 2020 to March 2021, the admissions of minors with this problem have increased by 60 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year,” warns Dr. Eduard Serrano, coordinator of the Hospital’s Eating Disorders Unit Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona.
LOBOS, Buenos Aires, Argentina — At age 14, I decided to stop eating.
Over time, my plans to avoid food became more and more creative and, in turn, took longer to craft.
I am almost six feet tall and eventually dropped to 99 pounds.
It was then, I decided to write a book to express my pain.
As I struggle to recover, I begin to see things more clearly.
What you see
Maybe it was because of a comment my uncle made.
He told me, “if you keep eating like this, you will get fat,” while I was eating an apple.
So, I stopped eating.
By the time anxiety settled in, I had developed a habit of keeping a bag full of chocolates hidden under my bed. I would open the package, smell them, and close it again.
I added three daily weigh-ins to my routine.
I used to get up and walk a few blocks to the downtown pharmacy to verify my weight. Eventually I was visiting four pharmacies.
If they all marked that I had gained weight, I doubled my exercise routine.
Quite contrary to what many people think, hunger made me feel powerful.
Without realizing it, I put aside everything that made me happy, like reading and writing, to achieve my goal.
I got away from my family and many friends. I ceased to exist as I knew myself.
Until the age of 20, time stood still and anchored me in place.
What you can not see
Anorexia, in my case, started as a symptom of other ailments.
The absence of my father impacted me and caused a deep uncertainty.
He would come home from work, greet me with a kiss, and leave. That was my only contact with him.
For a long time, I blamed myself. I thought I had done something to make my father distant.
I hope it serves to remove the stereotypes of anorexia and show that those who suffer from it do not constantly obsess over their body in pursuit of supposed beauty.
Another factor may be the manifestation of intense pain. In my case, it was anorexia. I compare it to any other addiction.
The fight continues, but the road seems to be a little easier.
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