Monday, July 29, 2013

Male Bulimia, Eating disorders, and Addiction


I wanted to take a minute and address bulimia specific to males. There are probably lots of male bulimics, like me, but their voices are not being heard, or they are not voicing period.

Some of this silence may be due to the overwhelming stigma that comes from being bulimic. It does come with the "EWWW! You do what???" factor and sometimes people move away to re think the relationship. I say keep going if that's what they want.

I am bulimic not an insane serial killer. (Although there probably are insane serial killer people who are also bulimic.)

Some silence may be due to the advertising industry and programs that seem to be ignorant or just ignore the fact that bulimia is an equal opportunity addiction and simply doesn't seem to care what sex you happen to be.

Plus being bulimic seems to distort any "real man" image.

Now I have spoken with males who are bulimic in the martial arts and other sports, the movie industry, the arts in general, and the numbers are higher than most people think.

The social and cultural pressures on males to be thin and good looking are gaining ground. The advertising industry knows that first it makes you unhappy be showing and telling you that you are not "whole" and need stuff to be OK. Then they sell it to you. It's not real deep. Now they are telling males that they need to be thin, buffed, tattooed, have shiny white teeth, and the right phone, car, and edevice, if they want to be accepted.

Bulimia seems to be a shortcut to at least one of those problems.

What to do?

1. Have a little compassion for you. This may be the first step in being able to let go of the secret. Bulimics are people who have a problem, just like anyone who had a problem. Males and females develop addictions, period. And need help in re adjusting.

2. Tell someone. Secret addictions stay that way. The addicted mind will try to convince you that you just can't tell anyone. It's just to horrible. Hey, it's not. It just isn't. So share this concern about you with someone you feel you can talk to.

3. Get help. I see a doctor who specializes in food addictions. She has helped me in a lot of ways.
 I belong to a few support systems including online systems where I can chat, blog, and make new friends who are dealing with similar issues.

4. Learn as much as you can. I have a lot of books, movies, and Internet information on my addiction. Knowledge really is power when it comes to your addictions.

5. Develop a strategy concerning your remission from food addiction. Take small and well designed steps in recovery. Make the decision that you will give yourself the time to back out of the addiction the same way you got in. Slowly.

If you are a male and bulimic I would like to hear about your experience and resources.
(Females too!!!! we are all in this together.)

Be kinder to you than you think you should.

                                           "A JOURNEY IS SHORTER WHEN THE PATH IS SHARED."

In Loving Kindness,