National Eating Disorders Association

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Gay guy, 30s, starting out to get help

Hello. I don't know who's out there, but I thought I'd introduce myself and see what support is here.
I'm currently seeing my GP for undereating and weight loss, and she's close to sending me to hospital.
I have a complex background; I'm gay and a p/t model, but - other than exercise - I'd say that doesn't affect my eating. If anything, my body issues would be to bulk up! However, I've had a lot of stressors, including my postgrad studies, and more importantly, a lot of family deaths, for which I've been a full time carer. Between those responsibilities, I've tried to study, hold down jobs, keep relationships afloat.
But I've been unwell for about 6 months now, following dental surgery, and that exacerbated my always-with-me eating problems.
I've lost a lot more weight than I was aware - I actually thought I'd improved recently, but on a visit to the doctor last week had the shocking news I'd slipped back even further. Hence the looming threat of hospitalisation. Which has also come at the worst time because I had a job offer appear, literally on the same day as the doctor's visit, which I've been needing for a while. Steady pay, and my family needs that too. Money coming in.
I don't know what to do - I feel a crossroads. I've been trying to eat -, making meal plans, but it's not working on my own. I also need this job, and I can't keep postponing study, and perhaps even more importantly, I can't let the rest of my family see me in hospital after all we've gone through. Thus family is done with hospitals and all we've lost. I can't put family though visiting hospitals again (I have sisters).
That's who I am, cards on the table. I don't know what these boards can offer, what advice, or words of wisdom, but... there you have it. I've volunteered with an online space before (a Queer Safe Space for youth when I was in my mid 20s) that offered support, so I do know these things can help people some times. Might be my turn to seek it.

Hi Ran,

First of all, welcome to the forums! Thank you for sharing your story. I know you said you were interested in seeing what kind of support there is here, and I truly hope you find the great community that I and so many others have found.

It sounds like you've been going through a rough time recently, and I'm sorry to hear about that. I know how hard it can be, having to choose between a job that you really need and the help that you really need. From my perspective, if you take the job now but continue to disregard your health, you may end up having to quit your job later on. I don't think that eating disorders are something that you can put on the back burner, and I would definitely encourage you to get the help you need as soon as possible.

That being said, I definitely understand how much easier said than done it is. I encourage you to give the NEDA Helpline a call at 1-800-931-2237 (M-R 9-9, F 9-5) for more support and answers to any questions you may have. I also encourage you to keep posting, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Stay strong.

Hey Ran

Hey, Ran. I sympathize with those factors that encourage you to undereat, and I'm so sorry to hear that you've been facing so much hardship recently. It's obviously a complicated situation, but please prioritize your health and wellbeing through it all, as much as you can! Not only do you deserve recovery, but it's possible, too. There's as much (if not more) engouragement to recover as there is to maintain ED behaviors. Nothing can compare to the freedom of a recovered life. As Tori suggested, the NEDA Helpline can definitely provide some direction for you. You may also want to check out NEDA Navigators ( These volunteers are trained to help you make tough decisions on the road of recovery.

Praying for your wellness! <3
Anna Naomi

Thank you

Thanks Tori and Anna. That was good advice too, about not putting it on the back burner. Thank you for the prayer too, Anna.

It's been a little while. The news is I ended up not going to hospital. But I'm officially off working and study, and currently on medical.

The thing I'm finding frustrating is I can't find any resources that actually help. I need practical getting healthy tips - all I can really find is things about *understanding* anorexia, or referals to counselling. I think what I really need is practical advice about *how* to eat when you don't want to. Ways to get more nutrition in. The only thing that I've been told - and which does help, admittedly, a lot - is having smaller, more regular meals. Sometimes I can also distract myself by watching tv while I eat.

But in general, I hate food. I hate cooking. I don't know how to make myself hungry.

I’ve tried several ways to boost my appetite. But it's still not enough, you know?

Also when I do eat, I get painfully bloated.

I'm also pretty much on my own - I don't have a partner at the moment, I live alone, I've approached my elder sister about it in pretty clearcut terms ("I need help for an eating disorder"), but even though she's very sympathetic, I'm not getting the practical help I need. I've approached one friend too, who brought me food, which was nice of her, but then... nothing.

What are some good ways to eat? At the moment, Food just goes uneaten in my fridge.


Hi Ran, sorry to hear you are

Hi Ran, sorry to hear you are still struggling. Have you considered seeing a dietician? I would recommend considering it. A dietician can definitely give you practical help. They can create a meal plan for you that would help you get adequate nutrition in the way you need it and may even be able to create more palatable food options that would stimulate your appetite. You can talk to your GP about a referral, or the NEDA Helpline may be able to point you in the right direction. Tori and Anna provided the number. Hope this helps!


Hi Ran,

Thanks for sharing! That takes guts.

Have you and your family every considered seeking family therapy? My little brother has suffered from EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) for about 7 years now. It mostly involves over exercise and restrictive eating. He has been hospitalized about 9 times in that time frame and what my family didn't realize for a long time is that our relationships, although close, were actually making the symptoms worse for Matt. Once we sought family therapy we were able to process lots of pain and unhelpful communication and coping mechanisms in order to better support each other (all of us, not just Matt).

I would also highly recommend reading books about males with EDs as a way to provide framework for you and your family.

I wish you well!