One in five Australians who are struggling with life-threatening eating disorder and psychological illness is a male. Boys in primary schools are currently receiving treatments for anorexia nervosa in Australia and there are warnings that the number of boys suffering from eating disorder may be on the rise.
According to Christine Morgan, from the Butterfly Foundation, the youngest patient to date is a 7-year old boy. If eating disorder is undetected by the parents and health professionals, the young boys face the risk that the eating disorder might develop into a life-threatening illness.
At the Children’s Hospital in Westmead, Sydney, 10% of the patients who are suffering from eating disorders are boys who are focused on their fitness and sporting abilities. At least ¼ of the boys are under 12 years old. In a recent study that was co-authored by Dr. Scott Griffiths, men are 4 times more likely than women to get diagnosed for eating disorder including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa because there is a certain stigma about what men feel about mental health and eating disorder.
One example is George Skoufis who developed anorexia nervosa when he was 19 years old. He started dieting and before long he was already hooked to the idea of perfect athletic appearance. The weighing scales took over his life; it dictated his mood and how he felt about himself. However, after 2 years, George developed bulimia nervosa and then binge eating disorder. His family and friends never realized that George was suffering from eating disorder until he recovered.
Males are least suspected to have eating disorders because it is considered to be an illness associated with females. Eating disorders among males are underrepresented that is why they do not get help. The focus is always on the teenage girls because males feel embarrassed to be associated with the illness.
If you suspect that you are suffering from eating disorder, call eating disorder psychologist in Melbourne to provide the necessary help through specialist skills and knowledge in treating the psychological condition. Positive results can be achieved through evidence-based approach and collaborative work with patients to improve their life and wellbeing.