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Emotions & behaviour of men with eating disorders

  • An obsession with being fit and lean together with a fear of gaining weight.
  • Exercise routines that have gone out of control, feeling anxious and depressed if you miss your routine. Taking dangerous supplements perhaps.
  • Starving, eliminating particular foods, binge eating and/ or purging.
  • Denial that there is a problem, often getting angry with loved ones who express concerns about your behaviour.
  • Rigid and obsessive behaviour with food accompanied by a self-critical inner voice demanding perfection and obedience.
  • Withdrawal from normal life and spending a lot of time worrying and thinking about food and exercise.
  • Depression, anxiety, poor self-confidence and body image.

Physical Consequences

Eating disorders and related behaviour affect every part of the man’s body. The main effects include:

  • Poor libido and fertility; Heart problems; Lowered immunity; Depression.

Getting Help

Males with eating disorders have underlying problems with anxiety and self-confidence; many have been teased or bullied in the past. Obsessions with food and activity emerge and thrive from this. Recovery takes time and is possible with the right support.

Recovery Aims

Recovery is about building a more useful relationship with food of course, and is also about emotional strengthening, raising self-worth and finding better ways of feeling in control. A good, trustful relationship is perhaps the most important part of recovery and our therapists are trained to understand the special sensitivities of men and boys who struggle with food and body image issues.

Treatment Plan

Treatment is forward-looking and not just about food and weight. We start with a full assessment to help build a personalised treatment plan.

Treatment takes time and will focus on:

  • Gaining insight into eating disorders in general and yours in particular, plus building motivation and commitment to change.
  • Nutritional guidance to address some of the physical and mood imbalances in a gentle, collaborative way.
  • Looking at exercise and making it work for you a great deal better.
  • Coping well with life and people; managing fear, panic, stress and unhappiness.
  • Managing perfectionism and eating disorder thoughts.
  • Self-worth and body image change.

Click here to learn what to expect from Lois Bridges