Can Instagram Help Overcome Anorexia? A lot of teenage girls do something peculiar with their dreams, their regrets and their friends – they post them online. Maybe their names are unknown, but many girls get followed by thousands or millions of people on Instagram. There is a not so small group of girls who have something in common: they suffer from eating disorders and say Instagram has helped them get out of that vicious circle.
“I think that it’s what’s helped me the most,” says Ashleigh Ponder, an American girl who was diagnosed with anorexia at age 13. Today, nearly 20,000 people follow her account, Balanced Not Clean (@balancednotclean – removed acc), where she posts all of her meals.
Profiles like Ashleigh’s have been flourishing for a while
Their follower counts are in the thousands. Hashtags like #BeatAna or #AnorexiaRecovery are like records who tell us about the success of thousands of young girls. There they can talk, they can say what they fear to say at home or school. Through Instagram, they know they’re not alone. Ashleigh says that Instagram allowed her to discuss with people like her without feeling sorry for it. Not only young girls, but also young boys, helped her. “The community is the key. Most of the time, we hear each other, we discuss our problems, and we give solutions. The food that we eat has allowed us to become friends.”
If you search through the hashtags mentioned above, you’ll be able to see mostly two things. First of all, you’ll see pictures of dishes that will make you hungry in one second. It’s the nice thing about this: recovery is possible, and it’s enjoyable. Then you may also see (though they are not as common as food pictures) photographs of happy people. Instagram helped them become happier. Let’s hope it ends many more troubled people in such a good way.