Eating Disorder Treatment for Men and Male Teenagers
Do males develop eating disorders too?
Absolutely! Eating disorders affect males as well as females, and unfortunately there appears to be an increasing prevalence of eating disorders among males in the past few years. For a number of years, statistics indicated (NEDA) that approximately 10 percent of those struggling with Anorexia and Bulimia were male. However, more recently statistics show an increase to approximately 15 percent (ANAD).
In the 1990s I first met a male client with an eating disorder. I remember being surprised when I saw him in the waiting area and wondered how he had been able to physically make it up the flight of stairs to my office. I immediately recognized that he needed to be assessed at a hospital and helped his father get him to the emergency room.
Fortunately, I was on staff at the hospital and followed him through the weeks that he was being stabilized. I naively thought that this hospitalization time would be give me an opportunity to locate a treatment facility for him. Sadly, at that time, there was no place that I could locate that accepted males. After much unsuccessful searching, I proposed to our staff and female residents that we needed to consider accepting this young man into our program. With no hesitation on the part of the participants or staff, he joined our program at Canopy Cove.
That day, we accepted the first male client with Anorexia into our treatment program and have included them ever since. Adolescents and adult males with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorders, as well as some individuals with co-existing diabetes, have joined us for treatment for over 23 years.
We now provide eating disorder treatment for men and male teens, including:
- Anorexia Treatment Programs for Men
- Bulimia Treatment Programs for Men
- Binge Eating Programs Treatment for Men
- EDNOS Programs Treatment for Men
Who gets this disorder?
No one, male or female, ever intended to develop Anorexia, Bulimia, or a Binge Eating Disorder. They had a much different purpose at the outset. Perhaps they needed to maintain their weight to play a certain sport, maybe boxing, crew, wrestling, or possibly being a jockey. Others may have thought that they would be more acceptable or feel better about themselves if they just lost a little weight. Some boys or adolescents, as well as adult males, may have started on a journey to become more physically fit. This may have been seen as being more muscular or “cut”, yet the opposite often happens. For many of these male eating disordered victims, their focus gets lost and the relentless pursuit of thinness takes over. The sport that was once enjoyed is now an obsessive compulsive trap.
So, what would be the big deal if I am a guy with Anorexia, Bulimia, or a Binge Eating Disorder?
No one wants to get manipulated into a destructive path that ends in death. Unfortunately, all eating disorders negatively impact the health and well-being of male adults, boys, and adolescents. Bone loss, tooth erosion, cardiac problems, loss of social interaction due to isolation, depression, anxiety, electrolyte imbalances, academic or job loss, and family issues are some of the “big deal” outcomes of eating disorders. Yet denial plays such a role in the lives of those with eating disorders that these dilemmas are often ignored. The role of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorders is to convince their victim that they are not the one that will be affected, it is always “someone else.”
How will your treatment help me?
It is our belief that Canopy Cove has the heartfelt interest, experience, and expertise to continue helping adult males, boys, and adolescents who struggle with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorders. We have welcomed them for over 23 years and will continue to include them in our programs. For over two decades we have been privileged to be a part of their journey of Recovery. We have watched frail bodies reclaim health while learning how to manage the distorted thoughts that had driven their life-threatening behaviors. We have seen those who were teased and ridiculed about their size develop ways of coping and valuing themselves and succeed in moving out off the tormented place they had learned to find familiar.
Will it ever go away?
Absolutely! However, although Recovery is definitively possible, the process is a battle and the journey is difficult. Males, older and younger, must recognize that eating disorders affect them as well as females in order to get help. Lack of recognition that they have a problem and the possible shame that may follow often interfere with seeking treatment. Additionally, it is frequently hard to find appropriate treatment for males with Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorders, whether they are boys or men.
No one deserves to die from an eating disorder, whether male or female, adult or adolescent. We are here to help you – you do not have to go through this alone!