Thursday, May 22, 2008

Male Binge Eating

When asked about binge eating, or eating disorders in general, my guess is that most people think this is a female issue. But men binge eat as well, and for many of the same reasons, foremost of which is to bury feelings.

While women might want to bury anger, anxiety, or depression beneath a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, men pretty much want to bury any feeling that isn't anger, the only feeling most of us were allowed to have as we grew up. We aren't comfortable with feelings and were never taught how to sit with our feelings and not become overwhelmed.

This documentary helps us to understand one man's struggle with the disorder.

I found this post at What the Health?

A man named Paul Murphy from Thunder Bay called to share his story. He has male binge eating disorder, and has been receiving treatment at a medical centre there.

He has helped create a short documentary about the disorder.

Part One:

Part Two:

The featured therapist, John A. Esposti, says that binge eating is a symptom of larger issues. With men, he says, it’s often a struggle with expressing their emotions. They can’t cope with the expectations placed on them so they eat in excess the same way that alcoholics hit the booze.

Last year, Harvard published the first national study of people with eating disorders and discovered that 40 per cent of American binge eaters are men. This disorder is apparently more common than bulimia or anorexia.

A book called The Good Eater: The True Story of One Man’s Struggle with Binge Eating Disorder was published 2007. It’s written by Ron Saxen, a former male model, who had the disorder too.

This is especially interesting since usually women are subject of discussions about eating disorders.

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