Anorexia in men: "I stopped eating because my body was the only thing I could control in my life"



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Jack is now 20 years old and fully recovered from anorexia

Anorexia and bulimia are eating and behavioral disorders that mainly affect women but also men. Although hardly spoken.

Eating disorder is one of the most common mental health problems among young people in the world, according to the WHO.

The number of children affected by this disorder is increasing. And experts believe that partly because of the pressure of social networks.

Health professionals also see how "intensity", obsession with defined muscles and a good body has become commonplace among young people.

"I felt lonely"

Jack began to control what he ate when he was 12 years old. He felt intimidated at the school where he was called greasy.

The same happened at the same time that his parents decided to distinguish between them. Remember that he felt sad and that he had no power over his life.

"I stopped eating because my body was the only thing I could control in my life." Thus he began to eat less and do a lot of exercise. Too much


Sports came to Jack's obsession. He did not enjoy it, he just dropped the calories he burned
Sports came to Jack's obsession. He did not enjoy it, he just dropped the calories he burned

The sport turned a little obsessed with the necessity: I had to run to burn the calories I had swallowed.

After more than two years, Jack became very sick. He could not walk or talk to his friends. I could not even be awake for a long time.

A circular says that when he admitted that he had a "problem" and realized that he needed help.

He went to his doctor who sent him to British Children's Mental Health. He was taken to the hospital. There they cared for him and helped him to heal.

They also talked about his problems. They gave him a meal program that made him eat healthier, and his relationship with sports changed. It's because it's enjoyable, not obsessive.


Jack sought professional skills and got to the hospital until gradually he felt better (general photo)
Jack sought professional skills and got to the hospital until gradually he felt better (general photo)

One of the other important things was to leave all social networks. He said that people's pictures and comments did not help him improve.

For him, the nets became a kind of "noise" in which negative images and words did not help him at all.

Gradually, he began to see that his appearance was not the most important thing. Six months later, under the constant supervision of doctors and his family, he thought it was time to do it himself.


Jack thinks that if he had talked to someone in time, he would not have been sick enough
Jack thinks that if he had talked to someone in time, he would not have been sick enough

Now he is 20 years old and fully recovered from anorexia. He says that if he had talked to someone before, what happened to him, he would not have been so badly.

The role of social networks

Child Psychiatrist Sandeep Ranote tells the BBC that research has not been shown that social networks cause eating disorders, but make sure things get worse.

"Many platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, are based on the publishing of publishable images (with effects and filters). These are not real … This can make young people believe they really should be.

"A persistent vision can make you feel that you are not good enough and your emotional content can be affected."

Newsround spoke to several children of the ninth and tenth decades (14, 15 and 16) and said they felt pressure on what they should look like in the networks.

One teenager said he would like "more muscles," and one would say "thinner". The other said, "People will judge you how you look."


Experts say that young men with anorexia are on the rise
Experts say that young men with anorexia are on the rise

The guys also said that social networks make them feel like they should look as good as celebrities sending their photos there. They have to wear some clothes and look good.

Some even argued that failure to meet expectations will weaken itself.

How to get help

If you have appetite problems, the faster you get the help, the better. Because the danger to your health gets worse, the longer you put them aside.

There are many associations and institutions that can provide you with advice and assistance. But above all, trust your doctor. They know all about mental health, and they do not judge you, they are there to give you support.

Your doctor will refer you to an expert who can give you special treatment.

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