Bullies Drive Girl to Anorexia, Says Lawsuit

"Schools need to do more to curtail bullying," he told ABCNews.com. "But to attribute one girl's anorexia to a specific case of bullying -- lots of kids get bullied and don't become anorexic.

"Frequently, an anorexic girl was chubby in pre-pubescence and experiences some social pressure or a parent encourages them to lose weight or the pediatrician says go on a diet," he said. "The daughter initially gets a lot of praise, then it keeps going."

Michael R. Lowe, a professor of psychology at Drexel University, who is a research consultant to the Renfrew Center for eating disorders," agreed.

"Bullying is an awful cruel thing, but, unfortunately, common," he told ABCNews.com. "It appears that for a very small percentage of young women who have a vulnerability to anorexia, any weight loss brought on by any means could trigger this self-perpetuating pattern where losing weight makes them feel better not only physically, but emotionally."

In girls who suffer from anorexia, their biological behavior is the opposite of healthy girls who "immediately start trying to compensate and fight back," according to Lowe.

Anorexia Linked to Anxiety

The disease is also thought to be genetic in origin and some studies show a connection between anorexia and anxiety disorders.

B.G., too, has struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder and is still struggling with the effects of nearly two years of harassment, according to her mother.

"She's still very anxious," she said.

Today, she is of normal weight, is enrolled in a parochial school and continues to be a strong student.

"She's OK, but she has her good days and bad days," said her mother. "The bullying is a constant reminder that she can't escape. It's hard for her to trust people at her new school."

"It's been a long road," she said. "She's been through a lot, and I wish someone had told me about the bullying from the get-go. We had an open relationship before that, and it's hard to imagine how they had her mind so enthralled."

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