A Hidden Scourge
Popular perception dictates that eating disorders are a condition exclusive to females. However, those of us who work in eating disorder treatment know better. While eating disorders are more common in women and girls, one in three people who suffer from them are male. Furthermore, the problem seems to be getting worse. Doctors are diagnosing anorexia in boys as young as 8 years old while studies estimate that 40% of those who suffer from binge eating disorder are male. And the fact that men have limited treatment options compounds these problems. This blog aims to take a closer look at these mental health issues and explain why men’s eating disorder treatment is so important.
What Causes Eating Disorders in Men?
Scientists believe that genetic factors and biology play a big part in the development of eating disorders. These elements can often cause the chemical imbalances that can lead to eating disorders. They can also make people more susceptible to the psychological and emotional conditions that are fertile ground for eating issues. Environment and upbringing also play a huge part in these and these conditions include low self-esteem, perfectionism, impulsive behavior, and the resulting relationship problems. Furthermore, just like in women, idealized images in the media can contribute to a poor body image and set the stage for disordered eating. These images can range from the chiseled male actors in movies, TV, and advertisements, influencers and peers on social media, and even action figures. This tangled, seemingly inescapable web highlights the importance of men’s eating disorder treatment.
Signs Your Loved One May Be Struggling With an Eating Disorder
It’s an unfortunate truth that many men who are struggling with eating disorders don’t even realize it. Eating disorders often start at a young age so a lot of the telltale behaviors have long become second nature by the time these folks reach adulthood. Here are some of the most common:
- Skipping meals
- Adopting a severely restrictive diet
- Constant “calorie counting”
- Obsession with “clean” or healthy eating
- Taking dietary supplements like laxatives or “fat burners”
- Leaving the table during meals to use the restroom
- Social withdrawal
- Expressing shame or disgust about eating habits
Build a Foundation for Success
Eating disorders are the most lethal of all mental health issues and often require professional help. Ocean Recovery is proud to provide men’s eating disorder treatment as one of our services. To that end, we offer individual and group counseling, nutrition therapy, EMDR, yoga, and more at our Newport Beach, California location. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please don’t hesitate to call today. Our specialists are standing by to walk you through the admissions process and start helping you build your foundation for success.