Anorexia is Contagious, and I Wanted to Catch It

A sickness you want to catch. This shows how far we as humans can go to get what we want. I am glad that KELSEY OSGOOD, you are fine now.


When I was 13, I decided I would become anorexic. By devoting myself to the illness, I believed I could morph from an emotionally confused adolescent into the anorexic girls I had seen on Oprah who were, by contrast, models of self-regulation. I read everything I could find about eating disorders — from Steven Levenkron’s fictional The Best Little Girl in the World, in which the anorexic character is unflappably disciplined,tothe best-selling memoir Wasted by Marya Hornbacher, whose 202-calorie-a-day diet plan is routinely emulated. Armed with my acquired knowledge, I eventually succeeded, and over the next eight years of my life, I was hospitalized four times.

(MORE: New Genes Connected to Eating Disorders)

My journey into anorexia is becoming less atypical as the disease itself has changed enormously over the past decade. Today, no teenage girl needs to be told what anorexia is — it’s…

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