Are you wondering if you have an eating disorder? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
1. Do you restrict food intake, purge,
compulsively overeat or binge?
2. Do you abuse diuretics, laxatives, diet pills or
3. Are you preoccupied with thoughts of food,
weight, muscularity or appearance?
4. Do you exercise compulsively?
5. Do you label food as safe/unsafe?
6. Do you experience guilt after eating?
7. Are you rigidly in control or feel out of control when eating?
8. Do you avoid eating in social situations?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, you may have an eating disorder. People with eating disorders often:
1. Feel emotionally numb
2. Feel depressed and anxious
3. Are obsessive-compulsive
4. Have low self-esteem
5. Are socially withdrawn
Do any of these traits sound like yours?
Recognizing and admitting to your eating disorder is a critical first step followed by a desire to want to change and heal from the destructive grip of the eating disorder. The next step is to take action by seeking out professional help to help you overcome this disease.
Remember, an eating disorder is not your fault, both females and males get eating disorders, and admirable is the one who admits to his weaknesses and problems and takes action to improve himself.
Eating disorders are developed by a complex combination of factors. Eating disorder behaviors are used as a coping strategy (albeit an ineffective way) to deal with stress, conflict, and problems.
Be reassured you are not alone with your eating disorder. There are many boys and men with eating disorders. Pursuing therapy takes courage, effort, and time, but it is worth the effort. Recovery will bring you improved psychological and physical health and more happiness, peace, and energy. There is hope for a better tomorrow, but you have to believe in it and work for it.
If you need a treatment referral, write to Chris@NAMEDinc.org. A N.A.M.E.D. sponsor can offer you individual phone and e-mail support. Join the Males with Eating Disorders Online Support Group to give and receive support from other males in recovery from eating disorders. N.A.M.E.D. is here to help you, so feel free to contact N.A.M.E.D. for treatment referrals, support, and information.
Adults (- those 18 and older) have the legal right to accept or refuse treatment.
People with eating disorders are not in the right state of mind and often will initially refuse treatment. It is a symptom of the illness to resist and deny the eating disorder's existence and seriousness. Eating disorders are not choices, but illnesses that are difficult to control.
A great deal of inner strength and perseverance is required to overcome eating disorders. A person may accept treatment more because it is the right thing to do, than because he is ready to let go of the eating disorder.
Seek immediate medical attention for any symptoms, such as chest pain, that pose imminent danger to the person with the eating disorder.
If a person with an eating disorder's condition becomes life-threatening or his self-destructive behavior worsens, consider an intervention. An intervention is facilitated by a therapist with the help of the family. The purpose of the intervention is to confront the individual with the eating disorder in a non-threatening, respectful way, and to show him how his self-destructive behavior affects him and his family, in order to motivate him to admit to his eating disorder and accept help.
Do notignoreyour family member or friend'spurging, bingeing, hoarding,and other self-destructive behaviors.Confronthiminacomposedmanner, explain why his behavior is destructive to him and how it affects the family, and insist that he stop or go to counseling. Makehimresponsibleforhis actions, such as by cleaning the bathroom after vomiting or buying food to replenish the food binged on.
If you remember nothing else after reading this section, REMEMBER this one critical point:When you feel angry and frustrated with the individual with the eating disorder, remember, it is hisillness symptoms, nothim as a person, that is the focus of your anger and frustration.Therefore, you can love him, while being angry with the symptoms of his illness that work to destroy him.Express this to him.
For example, one’s significant other might mention to his/her partner, that he/she loves him (- the qualities and personality characteristics that make him uniquely who he is), but, feels angry at his obsessive exercising that takes away from quality time spent together.
Probably the most difficult thing for especially parents and significant others to accept is the fact that their comments, attitudes, and behaviors may be fueling their loved one's eating disorder.This is not a cause for blame; after all we are all a product of our culture and family’s attitudes and behaviors.But, just as the person with the eating disorder seeks change, so too, it is important that family and friends strive for their own self-improvement for their own health and the health of the person with the eating disorder.
For example, as a parent evaluate your and your family’s comments, attitudes, and behaviors about weight, eating, appearance, and exercise.Do you make derogatory comments about people who you observe to be overweight?Do you have strict rules about what and when to eat?Are you or others in the family obsessed with appearance, losing weight, or exercise?
Additionally, evaluate your family’s communication skills and style, mode of self expression of emotions, and the dynamics of control.Above all, do not be afraid to participate with your loved one in therapy.Family and couples therapy is meant to improve the relationship between the person with the eating disorder and his family, not to place blame or to set one member against the others.
Become informedabouteatingdisorders,looktoothersforsupport,andbecomeamemberofaneatingdisorderorganization.Don'tdespair,bepatient!Yourgentleproddingandconcernfortheindividual'swell-beingwillpreparehimforamomentwhenheisready to reach out and accept help.
To receive information, guidance, or a treatment referral, write to Chris@NAMEDinc.org or call Chris at the N.A.M.E.D. toll-free helpline at 1-877-780-0080.
The personwithaneatingdisorderneedsanutritionistordieticianwhohasexperienceworkingwithpeoplewitheatingdisorders.Dieticiansmustbepreparedtohelptheirclientstoexperiencelessanxietywitheatingfood; dispelerroneousbeliefsaboutfood,weight,andcalories;andtomonitorfeelingsassociatedwithfoodandeating.