Men with eating disorders may not always recognise their symptoms and therefore it can take a long time for them to seek the help they need. It is common for someone affected by an eating disorder to deny it and they may refuse to acknowledge anything is wrong if someone tries to confront them about it.
If you are trying to support someone you are concerned about then you could suggest they read a little about eating disorders to help them recognise their symptoms and the steps they would like to take. For instance you could suggest the MGEDT website or request a copy of our information leaflet. Subtle approaches like this are usually the best way forward and most effective.
If you have or think you may have an eating disorder, it’s important that you consider speaking to someone about it. Telling someone for the first time can be a huge relief. The chances are you are bottling up your feelings and hiding from your friends, family, or you’re partner. By being open it might help you to think about what your next steps are and be supported by those around you. If you are at school, you might want to tell a teacher or a school nurse. If you are at work, you might have an understanding boss or colleague. You might be ready to talk to your friend, family member or you’re partner. It might seem a scary prospect telling those you know who care about you but they often provide the best sort of help.
Whoever you decide to talk to, it will help you to make the next step – whatever that may be for you. Remember you are not alone.
When you are ready, there are numerous sources of help available to you…
- Online support – Our forum and chat room is a space for men to connect with other men with eating disorders. You can share experiences, ideas for coping strategies and offer/receive peer support. You don’t have to use your real name as the forums are anonymous. Even if you don’t want to participate on the forum and chat room you may still find it useful to see what people have posted.
- Helplines – There are several helplines you can call that offer a listening ear and provide information and helpful suggestions on where you can get support. Beat has a youth and adult helplines that are open most days of the week. For opening times and telephone numbers see the Beat website.
- Support groups – It depends on where you live but support groups are useful to meet other people affected by eating disorders to share experiences. Most groups will be mixed gender and usually for over eighteens (but this is worth checking with the individual group). Support groups such as self-help and peer support can be helpful stepping stones to going onto seeking professional help or alongside therapy. To find your nearest support group we have a list on our links and resources section.
- Self-help books – Some people find it beneficial to read a self help book to find out how they can support themselves to work towards recovery. For recommended self help books by MGEDT also see our links and resources section.