Behavior: The Self-Starvers

At 17, Susan looked alarmingly emaciated, with sunken eyes and fragile, sticklike arms and legs. Though she was 5 ft. 5 in. tall, she weighed only 70 lbs. and scorned all but the tiniest morsels of food. Amazingly, Susan believed herself to be too fat and maintained a frenzied level of physical exercise to help keep any weight off her scrawny frame.

Susan was a victim of anorexia nervosa, "the starvation disease" or "Twiggy syndrome," a rare and bizarre emotional disorder that has been occurring more frequently in the past few years. Of those...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!