Hi everyone! I just recently found this forum and thought I would join. I have not spent much time here yet but I assume that most of the people suffering from EDs on here are female. I would like to say that I am a 20 year old male who suffers with constant bulima and eating anything that comes in contact/nearby meat. I have been this way my entire life, my diet and purging have ruined my teeth which I am very shameful of. It wasn't until the dentists assistant calmly and openly asked me about my eating patterns. She was very friendly and concered, it made me feel good knowing that she did not put me down because of it. We got to talking about my ED and why my teeth are in poor condition (purging, acid errosion, etc.) and it helped me a lot to know that someone else finally knew about my disorder.
I am mainly here to talk to others about the problems they encounter and share experiences. I feel lonely sometimes, lacking self confidence to date anyone because of binging and purging, as well as my fish/meat/etc phobia. I only wish that I can one day meet someone similar that I can relate to, because there is no way I am suitable for most relationships.
Anyway, thought I would let everyone know that I am a 20 year old male who suffers from eating disorders and that it's not only girls who suffer from this. I have yet to really hear of another guy with a similar disorder, maybe I can on here.
Hi! Welcome to the board! You're right, it's not always females who suffer from EDs.
I wanted to let you know, it's not easy, but recovery is possible. I was diagnosed with anorexia, not bulimia, so it's a bit different, I'm sure, but I believe they are both equally difficult to recover from, such hard habits to break. I've been recovered 4-5 years now, so it is possible! I still get the ED thoughts, I just don't act on them.
You are right about EDs doing a number on your teeth. Due to the anorexia, I believe I developed a problem with clenching and grinding my teeth. My dentist said the lack of nutrients to the body can cause a person to start clenching teeth in their sleep. I've already had 2 teeth break off at old amalgam fillings because of the clenching but luckily they could be saved with crowns--though at quite an ouch price--over $850 per crown. I've had to get a nightguard to sleep with now. Even though I'm recovered from my ED, this clenching habit persists, and there is really nothing you can do about it when you're asleep, which is frustrating!
When you are ready, I'm sure you will find someone for yourself. Focus on getting healthy (it's tough but do-able). Once I got beyond my ED, I was able to start dating seriously for the first time. I actually met my husband through an online dating site, and we've been together 5 years now (married for 2 years). I never NEVER thought I could find someone special, so if I can do it, you certainly can!
I can honestly say that my entire life I have suffered from an ED. As far back as I can remember it was there, making an impact in my life. At an age where kids were supposed to have fun I was worried about eating. I've come to accept that I wont ever fully recover from my ED, but there are days when I can cope with it better than others.
One thing my dentist assistant said that was after purging by brushing your teeth (which I did), it actually coats your teeth in acid and is worse for you rather than waiting to brush them some time after. Unfortunately, I was not aware of this until recently
It was not easy to recover. I spent a couple of years in pseudo-recovery, claiming I wanted to recover but doing everything to thwart it.
Mostly, I came to the realization that I would never be thin enough for my ED. Even when I was so thin, I was having heart palpitations, no menses for over a year, always tired, dizzy & weak, I still felt fat. So I pretty much decided, I could be a normal weight with body image issues (which definitely still persist) but feel well physically & mentally or I could be depressed and super skinny but still feeling fat and feeling like crap all the time. Really, the ED was consuming my life; it became my life. I was always obsessed over food and exercise. I was spending so much of my day exercising and thinking about food. Plus, I was doing weird stuff like hoarding food under my bed (supposedly hoarding is common in ED sufferers) and spending hours wandering around grocery stores and then buying something trivial like 1 apple. I became consumed by cookbooks and the Food Network on TV, and really, it was my whole life. I wasn't focusing much on my college classes at all. It was a very shallow existence.
I came to the point where the thought of having to spend the rest of my life dieting and exercising so much just exhausted me and filled me with despair. I felt I'd rather be dead than to have to live the rest of my life that way until I did die.
I finally started giving recovery a chance. I had therapists and psychiatrists and dieticians along the way. I was hospitalized twice, but both times for the depression & not the ED. I don't know. All of that may have helped some, particularly the dieticians I saw--they worked specially with ED sufferers and hard core athletes like marathon runners. The dietician who owned the business had suffered from anorexia in the past and my dietician told me that while she never had a full-blown ED, she came very close at a point in her life, so I felt they could understand where I was coming from.
Really, it was a lot of hard work and determination on my part and work at breaking old habits. For example, my habit to overexercise. I used to have to exercise at least XX amount of time each day, but I determined first, I would only exercise 1 time a day when I did exercise and then I would exercise no longer than XX amount of time (a much much smaller amount of time than I exercised when the ED was full-blown). I had to start eating meals and stop kidding myself that my ED meals were actually meals. For example, I used to call a low calorie microwave TV dinner a meal, when really it had too few calories to be considered a meal. I used to consider a small box of plain frozen veggies a meal and really, that is not. I had to stop kidding myself. The hardest habit to break was purging meals, which I had done occasionally with the ED. That was probably the last habit to go even though it was really the ED behavior I practiced the least? But the purging gradually became less and less until it went away altogether. The main thing is to ignore the ED thoughts. You will definitely have them; just don't act on them.
I started doing what is called intuitive eating. Eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full. It is basically listening to what your body tells you. This is tricky with an ED because the ED will tell you you are full after 1 bite, no matter what. You have to pay attention to your stomach telling you when you are full, not stuffed, just comfortable. Any time I start feeling weak and tired and haven't eaten in several hours, I listen to my body and have a snack, usually something that is high in protein.
I still cook healthy meals, but they are healthy meals, not ED meals. Really, I don't pay much attention to calories and focus more on protein and fiber. Occasionally, I go out and have junk food. I eat a few pieces of chocolate each day (more around my period!).
I also had to completely stop weighing myself during the recovery. The weight gain was too scary and it gave the ED too much power. Only after I was recovered a couple of years did I really start weighing myself again. Even now, I only weigh myself once a week and never the day after a large meal/party.
Recovery really is wonderful, and it can be done. The best part about it is that I'm actually happy most of the time! I'm not depressed every day and wishing I was dead. I still have body image issues, but I try to focus on the fact that I am healthy, energetic, and my weight is in the low end of normal for my height, I have not ballooned up out of control, and my life is not focused around food and exercise. I can concentrate on other things like my writing. Good luck to you!
I don't mind. If she has a history of EDs, though, this could be a cause of tooth grinding. It can also be caused by a misaligned bite, possibly by taking meds like SSRIs. I think mine started with the ED though, before I got on antidepressants.
Hi cdn_kid and welcome! I don't post here very much at all but when I saw your post I wanted to respond. I've known several males with eating disorders... one of them was a good friend of mine. His started due to wrestling and trying to keep his weight for meets. He purged, restricted, over-exercised, you name it. He got to a point where his parents where looking for a place to send him, but he was able to turn things around a little so he avoided IP.
Just so you know, there are some places that take males on their ED units. I know you weren't asking for treatment help but I just thought I'd let you know that it's becoming common enough for males to have ed's that places like Menninger in Texas take them. Also, many years ago Oprah did a show on males with eating disorders. You can probably find it by doing a search on one of those homemade video sites. She's probably done one since then (this one is very outdated, you can tell by what she says and how the people are dressed). But all the men in the video all thought they were alone in this too. I really hope that awareness is being raised as far as showing that men suffer from this too.
I have struggled with anorexia for many years (I'm now 30) and sometimes feel like I'm too old for this, that everyone assumes it's younger girls that have eating disorders. However, I've met so many women over 30 while in treatment who struggle from anorexia as well, it's helped me feel not as alone.
Thank you everyone for the replies Good to see that some people can see my side of things. Hopefully I can find that Oprah episode, or maybe an even newer one, to watch. Will continue to search here often, hopefully some more people will chime in.
Hi. I have been trying to recover for over 10 years and have been hospitlized with men as well. Have you thought about treatment. I'm in op now but without my support team I would feel so lost. I have finally made a lot of progress after many years and its never to late. This ed is a huge barrier to meeting people. You can change your ways but it causes a lot of anxiety. I have severe depression as well but I try to make goals every day and follow a plan. I'm on a meal plan and journal a lot. I'm sorry if you said this but does your family know? I think what is helping me move forward though I struggle a lot is to have goals like with career,family,friends. Well your not alone.
My family and friends only know part of my eating disorder, the part where I am a very picky eater and the fact that they never see me eat. They have no idea that I binge and purge, as of right now you reading this know more about my problem and I than my family and friends do. I am too ashamed to tell anyone and even if I wasn't, I like to keep it a personal matter for my own comfort (to not have people make me feel any more excluded, to change their outlook or opinion of me). I am coming off a binge of junk now and I dont want to purge, yet I feel so fat. midterms are hectic right now, I need all the energy I can get to think straight