Have you ever known a man that was anorexic?

I have a guy at work here that is anorexic. I always thought that anorexia was basically a women’s disease. Do you any of you personally know any men that have been or are anorexic? If so, are they married or single and what are their ages about?:confused:

I know a man who is anorexic, though I haven’t seen him in years so I can’t give you any details. He’s in his late 20s, single. He was also suffering from depression since college.

I once knew a guy who told me had suffered from an eating disorder. I’m not sure whether it was anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, or both.

He was in his early twenties and single.

I have a friend who is a pre-op M>F transexual. She may be genetically a male, but she considers herself female. She’s anorexic.


I’ve heard that the first known case of anorexia was diagnosed in a young man. A quick web search said (mostly) that the first case was a woman, but that the first male case came only a few years later.

Men seem to suffer from this disease less often, but it happens. I’ve heard some people theorize that the comparable affliction in men is excessive working out and muscle-building.

Anorexia in Males

A friend of mine from university spent some time in hospital care for treatment for anorexia/bulimia when he was 18. He said the recovery was difficult because all of the literature was aimed towards women and he was unable to identify.

When I got to know him, he was mostly recovered, president of a frat, and had a girl friend. Eating was still an “issue” for him.
We became such good friends that we moved in together. (He was single at that time.)
When his life seemed to not be going well, he would fall back into his poor eating habits. He would use exlax after a particularly large meal, even though he had no need for it. A few times I walked into the kitchen to find him eating a small bowl full of bbq sauce.
During this time he also came out of the closet.

Last I talked to him, 2 years ago, he was in a monogamous relationship with another male who had experienced an eating disorder.

Wow, I don’t miss that house.

I used to work with a guy who was in his early 20s and single. He was a jock…he had rowed crew in college. He was 6 ft tall and well built, but he started to lose weight. In retrospect he was also showing symptoms of anxiety and depression at that time. Eventually he had to check into a hospital and some type of program. I remember him saying also that most of the programs and literature were aimed at women.

I remember he used to bring his lunch to work, but many times his food was unappetizing…he would make sandwiches with bread that had mold on it, for instance. It was almost as if he were trying to make the food less appealing so he wouldn’t want to eat it.

I lost track of him years ago, but last I knew he had managed to get a handle on that problem. It may have been an ongoing struggle, though.

I don’t know his orientation…he was ostensibly straight but in the 3 or so years I knew him well
he never had a girlfriend, or ever mentioned going out on a date. He was quite good looking, intelligent and funny, too.

Evidently, yes. When I was five years old, my family shared a beach house with another family. By the end of the week, the two sets of parents were not on speaking terms with each other, apparently because the father of the other family was a complete nut case and anorexic to boot. (This is, of course, my own parents’ version of the story, so there may be a bit of bias there, but they’re basically levelheaded people and I believe them.)

I don’t remember a thing about it, myself, except for sleeping out on the screened porch with the other kids. You miss all the interesting stuff when you’re five.

I remembered one other thing about my former co-worker: At the depths of his problem he went from 6ft 1 inch and 180 pounds to 6ft 1 inch and 120 pounds. He was skeletal.

I don’t know anyone personally, but the lead singer of Silverchair, Daniel Johns, was anorexic.

The principal at the elementary school my grandmother taught at is an anorectic. He is often depressed and unmotivated (teachers and parents have repeatedly tried to get the school board to fire him, to no avail). He is Catholic, unhappily divorced, has many children (6+ if I recall correctly), and is probably in his mid-50’s. He has entered treatment, but still shows signs of being unbalanced.

My husband says it wasn’t uncommon for wrestlers in high school to starve and sweat themselves in order to make weight, and consequently become obsessed with weight gain.

That happened to me for a brief period in university. I had had a weight problem for most of my life, but because I was so much more active and had to take care of my own meals, I started to lose weight. It was around that time that I started to realize that I am gay. I’d also had a problem with depression that surfaced again during this time.
Once the weight came off, and I got used to not eating, it became very easy. I knew a few women with eating disorders also, so it was as if I had a mentor.
My father, who thought a great way to help me lose weight was to make fun of me and try to get my brother and sisters to call me names, became alarmed when I returned home. He asked me point-blank if I was an anorexic. In the state I was in, I was delighted, and thought of it as a compliment.
At another stage of my life, I combined it with bulemia. I always thought of it as the last straw, but I had just broken up with a long-time partner, and was very depressed. I thought of it as a way to become attractive to others.
I should mention that during my low weight periods, I got noticed much more by guys, so that behavior was reinforced. I was never thin enough for it to become life-threatening.
I’ve heard that eating disorders amongst gay men are on a sharp increase. Don’t have the figures for it, but it makes sense, because of the pressure in our subculture to look young and attractive.

My male cousin was anorexic when he was in high school. He was on the track team and was constantly obsessing about his weight, his race time, etc. I think he is now recovered, as this was 10 years ago.

but I’ll add my .02 cents.

While women’s appearance has always been crucial to their “place” in society (shoot, hope I didn’t open a can of worms with that statement), men’s appearance has suddenly taken on a whole new importance.

There’s been a sudden surge of “beauty” products for men, more men are admitting they do go to spas and get facials and the like.

And while society isn’t the only cause in eating disorders, more pressure on a man who is already feeling depressed or anxious, or obsessive is going influence their use as food as an outlet, whether eating too much, or not enough.

I forget the stats, but the rise in men’s eating disorders over the past decade has been phenomenal.

My cousin was anorexic in his teens, around ages 16-18. Although he is healthy now, anorexia is one of those things that you never fully “recover” from - unfortunately, it is a disease, and most people who suffer from it will ALWAYS have to be aware of what they are doing so they do not fall back into bad habits. (Incidentally, my cousin’s mother was also anorexic in college, and another member of their family suffers on and off from bulimia.)

Well, here are the details. The guy here at work is 35 Mormon and has 5 kids under the age of 10. He is also a cyclist. He is down around 2% body fat so he is scary to look at. I felt really sorry for him for quite a while and befriended him. I thought I understood because I have been anorexic and thought I could identify. While I can, I still don’t understand why he is anorexic. I read the link Astro posted and think while there is some correct information there, they tend to dwell on the physical aspects of the disease and not the psychological aspects with men. He doesn’t seem to fit the normal pattern there either. I wish I could help him but think now after this going on for months and him pretty much refusing to go to an inpatient facility that he is doing this to himself for the attention he gets. Everyone fusses over him. He CHOSES not to eat or to vomit after he does. He has been offered help and doesn’t want it so I am losing sympathy. It his hard to watch though and very distruptive in the office. It is really hard to watch someone kills themselves very slowly.

Well, I don’t know if they’d ever be diagnosed as anorexic, but… a few years ago, I was talking to some friends who had been on their high school wrestling teams, a few decades back. And they all told some horrifying stories of things they’d done in order to make weight for upcoming events.

I won’t go into detail, but heavy use of laxatives and self-induced vomiting were just part of what I heard.

So, I guess teenage boys are capable of the same self-inflicted horrors girls put themselves through… though their motives may be verydifferent.

Not personally, but looking at a lot of male celebrities makes me wonder. The most obvious to me was Guy Pearce in The Time Machine, but a lot of them look much too skinny nowadays.

The toned and cut look can only be achieved with low body fat. I suspect the rising importance of “six-pack abs” is going to cause a huge increase in male eating disorders. If mainstream America is going to borrow Gay America’s standard of beauty, it’s going to quickly get the attendant social problem as well.

My wife honestly thinks I might be, although I don’t.

I’m certainly not obsessed with my weight, and I enjoy good food just as much as the next guy, but I’m very thin (5’10, 140 pounds) and the slightest bit of stress in my life makes me not want to think about food.

Sometimes I come home from a busy day at work and realize that I forgot to eat anything all day long.

I know I don’t have the healthiest relationship with food, but I wouldn’t go so far as to claim it’s anorexia.