National Eating Disorders Association

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Any advice to other males with Eating Disorders?

Hello everyone -

What do you wish you could tell other people about your experience? We would love to hear your stories here!

It can be tough out there.

A lot of people don't get it. Don't think that guys can have an ED (other than over-eating). But we can, and we hurt from it, and we can feel ashamed by it. Most of all we can feel alone. Allow me to tell a quick story:

I remember when I was trying to first get help, I called a clinic and left a message. The next day I got a call back from one of the doctors who assumed I was calling for my girlfriend, it took some time to tell her that I, a male and an athlete, was in pain and needed help.

It's been hard. Most people you encounter are women who are struggling. But we are out there. Hopefully forums like this one can show that you don't have to be alone in your quest for a healthy loving relationship with yourself.


Healthy, Loving Relationship with Yourself

Dear mylesalexander:

Please find comfort in knowing NEDA does get it! We truly appreciate you sharing your personal journey and quest for a healthy loving relationship with yourself. What a great messsage of encouragement to share with this important NEDA forum. The more we share our personal stories, we create greater community awareness, which will ultimately help create greater sensitivity and acceptance. All of this serves to improve (minimize) the shame commonly associated with an ED.

Your frustration is understandable.You are not alone! I applaud you for sharing your personal story, and experience as a guy who struggled with an ED. Your thoughtful sharing will help other men struggling with an ED to not feel so alone or isolated, and will be encouraged by your journey, and know they too can recover.

When you're struggling, you should consider calling our trained and caring NEDA Helpline at #1.800.931.2237.

Additionally, there are wonderful and helpful resources available for men/women to consider, such as:

1. Support Group Resource:

2. Inspirational Stories of Hope:

Best wishes,

NEDA Volunteer

Something Quick to Say

I am currently dealing with ED in the form of Obligatory Exercising aka Compulsive Exercising aka Anorexia Athletica.

I run, and I love doing it. I need to do it in order to justify fueling at all. There isn't much give and take on the subject. I won't have breakfast if I don't run in the morning. I will have a skimpy lunch regardless, a light dinner (if at all), then run at night. When I have accomplished that, I enjoy some specific and limited foods.

I don't throw up any food at all, and weigh myself constantly, as if suddenly I will gain a couple pounds. When I drop weight, I celebrate in the back of my mind, but when I gain and break past a certain mark I punish myself by denying myself any food.

I can recall taking the path to get here, but can't seem to modify it into a healthy routine. I KNOW someone out there understands what I am talking about and hope they jump in a start talking.

All my friends, co-workers, and family knows about this. I don't hide it from anyone, they need to know that it happens to the best and least of us.


I am in sorta the same boat , I typically walk every day, I work with a friend , I generally eat at night if I have done enough during the day, I have some bad joints epically my right knee / hip, but I push through the pain & weaknesses I feel every day , I was only weighing myself 1 to 2 times a week and since before Thanksgiving this have been getting worse , I weigh daily more exercise , I keep pushing through it , none of my friends know that I have fought an ED for many years, I have been pondering talking to my good friend who is also my neighbor about my struggles but can't find the courage to do so, you are not alone , I go through some of the same stuff, if you like read my other posts,
Keep moving forward its possible, my friend has been a great help for my depression, he listens and helps ,

Glad you came here to chat

Hi Thanatos -

I can totally hear how much you are suffering. I'm glad to hear your friends and family all know what's going on, as there is nothing to be ashamed of. What are they doing to help you and support you towards recovery?

Are you in treatment of any kind? Trust me, I know how hard the path to recovery can be but I can also tell you that the reward is bigger and better than you can ever imagine! Here is some info on recovery:

There is an estimated 10 million males suffering from an ED, so you are not alone. I, too, would love to hear from some of them on here. And Thanatos, I would love to hear more about any treatment you are currently receiving.

Current Therapy

I am receiving some help from an EAP counselor. We are trying to reintroduce me to foods that I am typically "fearful" or concerned about eating that weren't an issue before. We are also trying to decrease my exercising.

To the counselor's best efforts, I am failing all over the place. My running miles last week increased, and my eating habits remained the same. I have started a blog to reflect what I think I am going through, and try to keep those that aren't near informed of my successes and failures.

Sadly, I can't begin to afford inpatient treatment, which is what I was assessed to need by both the counselor and an ED doctor at a clinic.

As an example, this morning I ran and exercised. Burned a lot of calories. It's been 5 hours since I completed that and I have eaten not as many calories as I have burned. On top of it, I celebrate this in my mind, and fear eating anything that will take me over the line of what I have burned.

I truly believe in you

I'm glad to hear you are at least seeing a counselor. I don't know your situation (i.e. if you have insurance, if you have transportation, etc.) but a couple of suggestions may be support groups or being part of a research study (you can find that information under the Find Help & Support tab on this site). Or if you do have insurance and they won't cover it, you can appeal. By no means do I want to come across as trying to simplify your situation, I just want you to know you are worth this fight!!! Don't give up on yourself - you are NOT a failure. You deserve a full, ED-free life :). Does the blogging help you navigate your feelings a little bit?


Actually, it doesn't help overall. Blogging leaves me focusing too much on minutia. I have not made much headway towards my recovery, but my house is falling apart and family is in total disarray.

I know it's hard

I'm sorry to hear that your road to recovery isn't getting any better. Relapse and struggle are a very normal part of this process, so don't see it as failure, because it's not. It's a typical reaction. What is your view on support groups, since they don't require insurance and cost nothing? Has your family thought about going to one as well? It's important for them to know they deserve support as well. And the more they realize they aren't alone, the more they may understand your situation. I know there are no easy solutions to this situation, but doing something is better than nothing! I want you to believe in yourself! I want you and your family to know that you CAN get through this. Please don't give up just because it may seem hopeless. You are worth recovery. You ARE a valuable part of the world.


What your saying is appreciated, but I do have to say that I have begun to feel that this whole thing is simply a matter of me getting off the "whinning treadmill" and act. I have had people say "Just eat". Most of the time, I don't even know if I am in a troubled situation or just being a whimp. I feel like I am being a simpering whimp by talking about this.

This is my greatest internal battle. I have lived life knowing that IF I can carry on and move forward, then everything is ok at the very least. This feels exactly like that, and talking to the counselor has begun to feel like I am not getting anywhere because I am talking so much about it, but really don't know the first action to take.

You are anything but a wimp

You are definitely NOT a wimp and you aren't whining. Those words are coming from your eating disorder. Fighting an ED is never easy. There is a reason the "Just Eat" advice doesn't work - because ED's are not about food and vanity. It's just the way the disease facilitates itself.

Talking about an ED is typically helpful for most. It's important to try not to internalize this or work it out on your own. If you feel like all you are doing is talking about it, and not taking any action, have you thought about seeing a nutritionist to get you on a meal plan? That might help you to take that first step outside of talking with your therapist. Thoughts?


I have sat down with a nutritionist, and I have taken a step up in my eating both in calorie and protein, yet not nearly enough. I still mentally celebrate burning more than I bring in. Currently I burn the same amount of calories in the morning and the in the evening. I eat a certain amount of calories at breakfast, and at night I eat specific foods.

I tend to fail at eating many of the foods out of worry that I won't have the chance to burn some or all off. Basically, I am no where near where I need to be in this whole thing, and I fail to step up and eat what will even help me with my running. It's still my fault I am in this.

I just ate and desperately want to run it off now. So, as long as I am such a door mat to this ED, the nutritionist and therapist are neutralized, no matter how much I MAY want to get on task.

You did not choose this

A couple of things I want to ask:

1) I know you said your household is in disarray, but what are they doing or can they do to help? Can someone take a walk with you after you eat to help to keep you from running? Is there someone in your household that can help you with your meal plan?

2) You also mentioned that you can't afford Inpatient treatment. If you have insurance, have you tried an appeal? If not, have you tried getting into a research study? Both may be a way to get treatment covered. Also, I urge you to find a support group in your area. You will see that you are NOT a failure, NOT at fault and NOT a door mat. Find all of these at:

This eating disorder is not your fault. Following the voice of the disorder is not your fault. Having a hard time recovering is not your fault. You did not choose to have this, and you are not choosing to obey it. That is your eating disorder telling you that you are a failure and that it is in control.

Phone calls

I'm a male that has been suffering for 6 years. I'm in San Diego. Are any men interested in starting a phone meeting for support?! I need it.
-- ceg

Support groups


I mentioned this in another forum as well, but are you interested in finding a phone or online support group? The NEDA Helpline can help you with that. The helpline can also help find you a treatment team if you think you are ready for that. Hope you keep on joining us in these forums as well!

Hey man!

Hey man! Glad you reached out to us!

First of all, I noticed your username. Thank you for serving our country!

I'm a male who had an eating disorder. I don't know how it has been for you, but I know how tough it is to a male with this because of all of the stereotypes. My ed got really bad when I was training in the Air Force, so I think we might have a connection there. I have been recovered now for a year, so I can be a support that way too.

How are you doing? Hope we can support each other!

anorexia and marijuana

I just wanted to ask if any of you have tried marijuana for medication purposes? I've been suffering anorexia for almost a year now and planning to use medical marijuana products for my condition.I've been reading some articles about cannabis and its medical properties and im very fascinated about it. Not lucky for me in my country use of marijuana is illegal but now im planning to move in Colorado where you can use marijuana without any hassle. I really wanted to hear your thoughts about this and if you can give my any advice or tips feel free to tell me. Thanks!

Edited Post

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