With Fewer Treatment Options, Males Suffer Silently With ‘Girl’ Problem
Since the 1970s it’s been common knowledge that eating disorders are a significant issue. But the problem isn’t limited to young girls and women. Experts say a growing number of boys and men are admitting their own struggles with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating — and seeking treatment for them.
“They’re certainly not the majority, but it’s definitely a sizable number,” says Roberto Olivardia, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating boys and men with eating disorders and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Exact numbers are hard to come by, When Olivardia did his first study on males with eating disorders 20 years ago, men, many of whom did not want to participate in the study, called to thank him for taking a look at the issue.
“They had been suffering silently,” he says.
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