Richard Maisel, David Epston, and Ali Borden demonstrate the ways in which anorexia and bulimia (which they consider two halves of the same coin, hence their preferred term "anorexia/bulimia," or "a/b") is caused and maintained by powerful but hidden pro-anorexia rhetoric. By carefully listening to hundreds of patients, the authors discovered that after insinuating itself into people's lives through the weight-obsessed lingo of the media, anorexia goes on to generate an endless supply of pro-anorexia rhetoric that mutates into sophisticated new forms whenever it confronts anti-anorexia resistance. For example, this rhetoric instantly offers myriad convincing reasons why the doctor pointing out the harmfulness of self-starvation is not to be trusted. The sufferer experiences toxic pro-anorexia thoughts not as alien or unwanted but as reality. Anorexic thoughts proliferate and come to dominate a person's thinking and actions, leading her to lose touch with her own values, her identity, and her relationships.