When we hear anything about eating disorders, we tend to think of girls and women. Yet, some of you are familiar with the term “manorexic,” referring to boys and men who also struggle with a clinical eating disorder some time in their life. In fact, 10 million men suffer according to the National Eating Disorders Association.
Robert was one of them. He came to my office incredibly thin and confused about his identity. Robert’s fear of assuming the role of a man and taking on responsibility pushed him to restrict his eating and take on a more child like look. Family members then organized to take are of his illness. His dependency for care helped him avoid more independent living and decision-making. The family was stuck and needed help to respond to his food restriction and fears.
Last week was National Eating Disorders Awareness week. While women still suffer with eating disorders at double the rate of men, men feel the pressure to be ripped, lean and muscular. If not treated, both genders are in danger of dying from these psychiatric disorders.
However, eating disorders are treatable. Healing and recovery are very possible but most often need the help of a multidisciplinary professional team. So if you know a boy or a girl, man or woman, who is struggling with an eating disorder, encourage the person to seek professional help.
For more helps: Breaking Free from Anorexia and Bulimia by Dr. Linda Mintle