Eating Disorder and Addiction Help for Men

Eating disorder and addiction help for menSome people mistakenly believe that eating disorders are only a problem for women and teens. Unfortunately, this complicated disorder also affects men. It is estimated by the National Institute of Mental Health that more than 10% of all people with eating disorders are men, and this number is assumed to be grossly underestimated. Many men and women with eating disorders fail to report or acknowledge that there may be an eating problem like anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating.

Many men who seek help for eating disorders and addiction are faced with women-only treatment programs or therapists who don’t understand. Fortunately, the mental health community is making great strides in understanding and treating eating disorders in men. You can find quality eating disorder and addiction help for men.

Men Struggle Differently with Eating Disorders

Men who struggle with eating disorders are at a particular risk to also struggle with an addiction of some type. There are many reasons behind this fact such as the following:

  • Men feel greater stigma attached to eating disorders than women do
  • Eating disorders are not all about food
  • Eating disorders and addiction may both be caused by a variety of underlying issues

Men may place the focus of their eating disorder a little differently than women. Each man that enters treatment needs a unique and personalized treatment plan designed to meet his needs. Some of the differences men may face include the following:

  • Body ideals: Men may wish to become buff and muscular, thin and flexible or more athletic. These ideals may lead to excess working out, steroid abuse or unhealthy muscle mass.
  • Symptoms: While clinicians often look for symptoms like low body weight or lack of diet, many men may over exercise or over consume protein and fitness products. Also, many clinicians fail to recognize signs of traditional bulimia, anorexia or binge eating in men.
  • Differences in expression: Men may not share their diet goals, and they are less likely to discuss eating and body issues than women.
  • Career fears: This is seen in women as well, but men in the military and fitness fields can become preoccupied or obsessed with body strength and image to maintain their careers.
  • Treatment barriers: Men may miss out on lifesaving treatment for fear of stigma or lack of services.

Eating Disorders in Men and Addiction

Addiction and eating disorders in men often go hand in hand. Eating disorders are not actually about food. Every eating disorder has complicated reasons, and each person with an eating disorder must have an individualized treatment plan. Some of the causes of eating disorders in men include the following:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Mental health concerns
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Bullying or abuse
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Perfectionism
  • Addiction

Because of these underlying issues, men who struggle with eating disorders often struggle with addiction. Substances like steroids, amphetamines (speed), benzodiazepines (downers) and even food are used to numb feelings or soothe anxiety. Unfortunately, these substances only make matters worse.

Help for Eating Disorders and Addiction in Men

If you are seeking help for an eating disorder and substance abuse, call our toll-free helpline now. We help thousands of people just like you find personalized treatment for mental health concerns like eating disorders and substance abuse. We can even help you arrange for treatment that is covered by insurance. All of our calls are completely confidential, and we are available 24 hours a day. Call us now to find out how we can help you or your loved one.