Who Actually Has an Eating Disorder?

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or EDNOS [EDNOS is now recognized as OSFED, other specified feeding or eating disorder, per the DSM-5] (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011).

30 million people. But who? Who is suffering from eating disorders?

  •          Elderly
  •          Adults
  •          Adolescents
  •          Children
  •          Fathers
  •          Grandmothers
  •          Brothers
  •          Cousins
  •          Teammates
  •          Coworkers
  •          People of all ethnicities
  •          Individuals of every socioeconomic status
  •          The girl in your favorite TV show
  •          The man who fixes your car
  •          The woman who cleans your teeth

That list doesn’t end because eating disorders have no limits. They do not discriminate. Eating disorders are mental illness that are not the fault of anyone. The stereotype you may hold for those with an eating disorders is long gone. Actually, it’s never been true.

According to a fact sheet from the National Eating Disorders Association, "Approximately 10% of (individuals with eating disorders) coming to the attention of mental health care professionals are male."

One out of ten males is still hundreds of thousands of individuals dealing with eating disorders: the deadliest of all mental illnesses. Both females and males deserve to live their lives and to the fullest.

Nichole Wood Barcalow, PhD, Director of Outpatient Services at The Center, shared, "I suspect that lack of appropriate assessment, diagnosis and referrals for males with eating disorders along with stigma accounts for many males not seeking treatment."

Break the stigma, look for warning signs (link to nedc post http://www.nedc.com.au/recognise-the-warning-signs) in all people and don’t be afraid to talk about eating disorders. It may be uncomfortable but the person sitting right next to you could need to hear your words.

The Center provides outpatient treatment at several level of care for males and females ages 16+ (ages 18+ in Partial Hospital). Give us a call. We'll help find treatment that meets your needs. 614.896.8222

Lori JohnsonComment