Twelve year old Natasha is being admitted at the Rhodes Farm (residential clinic) situated in London which is specialized in treating children being diagnosed with a condition known as Anorexia Nervosa. The illness is being characterized by improper eating habits, low body weight, the fear to gain weight and obsession of having a lean and thin figure.
Natasha is said to be the youngest here. It’s a weigh day in the clinic and the next turn was Natasha’s. She was admitted at Rhodes Farm more than six weeks ago. In the words of the girl, “When they were telling, I would die; I was thinking that they said to me this a week ago and am not dead now”. In the weigh room, she was weighed at 31 or 32 lbs which is quite unusual growth for a 12 year old girl.
Anorexia Nervosa is one of the deadliest of all psychiatric illnesses and left untreated, it leaves 1 among 5 sufferers to die. As mentioned earlier, the girl has been admitted here for over 4 months and for her, the farm has set a target of weight to reach after which she will be discharged. The girl said, “When I get my target weight, I am going to feel absolutely disgusting and horrible”.
Where the farm treats most of the cases of Anorexia Nervosa, all the girls here have gained dangerously low weights that can lead to permanent damage to their bodies. To ensure that the children get back to a normal and safe weight, trained staffs specifically prepare a high calorie diet. The medical director of the clinic Dr. Dee Dawson gives a speech on how they take care so the weights of the children don’t drop further.
Talking about another Anorexic girl in the clinic Naomi aged 13 year old, she has been into this clinic over 5 months yet she finds every mouthful food agonizing.
The very first case of Anorexia Nervosa had been documented in the year 1870 with 90 percent cases being reported of females. A staff from the clinic said that people born with genetic predisposition to develop this disease – Anorexia Nervosa. She further said that children suffering from this illness often lack confidence in spite of being perfectionist, gifted and talented. Those who are being diagnosed with the disease try to carry out the whole task given to the best of their ability.
Once admitted in the Rhodes Farm School, the lives of children revolve around the clinic. The school is located in sites so that they can keep on their studies with Anorexia Nervosa continuing to be dominating their life every moment. Another girl named Cara said that she was sure of growing with lesser calories day by day.
Phillipa, a student in the clinic said that she would not go to bed unless she knew about how much weight she gained the other day. So, you see this documentary has been made on the lives of these people and their hardships to prevail over their fanatical association with food.
Outside the medical terms, people often use Anorexia Nervosa as well as Anorexia interchangeably. But anorexia is a medical word used for lack of desire for food. Contrary, people suffering from Anorexia Nervosa never lose their appetite but they might experience drowsiness, dizziness, energy lack and headaches.
Moreover they might feel the hunger yet restrict themselves to lesser quantity of food. The average calorie of an individual suffering from the disease is said to be (600-800) calories in a day yet the tremendous cases of starving the whole day are also known. Where the disease can affect any gender, it occurs 10 times in females in comparison to males.