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Men and Eating Disorders

eating disorder patient

Eating disorders are nothing new to our society. In the 1980’s and 1990’s eating disorders showed an incline in anorexia and bulimia, but the statistics have remained mostly steady since then. While these eating disorders are mostly associated with the stereotypical young, white women, an eating disorder does not discriminate regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, nor to gender. In fact, men with disorders have become more common. 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from one form or another with an eating disorder.

Males account for an estimated 5 percent to 15 percent of men who have anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa with 35 percent of them having a binge-eating disorder. Not only do women think they have pressure to have the perfect physique, but men have begun to put the same pressure on themselves. As women compare themselves to Barbie, men will use the muscular action heroes to base their looks and body off of. Having muscle dysmorphia will make a male have a distorted view of body image. This can make them feel less than with something that is unrealistic which can lead them to be more susceptible to overcompensate in their diet and exercise.

The female stigma that is attached to eating disorders, can prevent a man from getting the help he needs to combat his eating disorder. Most treatment programs are designed for women patients and men can feel alienated by the unintentional biases that take place in a predominantly female group therapy session. Due to thinking that eating disorders only affect women, men may be in denial of their disorder to keep from admitting that they have something that is considered a female malady.

The good news is that whether it is a male or a female, anyone with an eating disorder has the potential to recover equally. Getting help for an eating disorder starts by pursuing two different medical evaluations. One is a physical exam to see what physical factors have been afflicted by the eating disorder. The second is with a mental health therapist to see the underlying symptoms that may be the cause of the eating disorder. When the evaluations are done, the patients can receive suggestions to work on a specific treatment plan designed for each individual.

Eating disorders in men are possible to overcome by receiving aid from medical professionals into recovery. There is no reason to wait just because of the misconception that eating disorders are for women only.

What To Know About Food Addiction

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