Anorexia is a disease that involves a disproportionate view of the body where a person thinks they are always overweight, when in fact they are drastically underweight by all measures. They often will starve themselves, deprive themselves of anything that adds weight to their body, even water, and sometimes it can even be combined with the other most common eating disorder, bulimia.
The disease anorexia is indeed a very serious one. It’s not just a matter of being too thin, but when someone has this disease they actually starve their bodies of important nutrients, electrolytes and the very basis of nutrition that keeps them alive and sustained. Often times anorexia in its most extreme form can cause permanent heart and other organ damage, and it can also cause severe dysfunction of the brain chemistry as well as the basic operations of the body and organs.
Your body needs nutrition to survive and thrive and operate on a daily basis, and when it is starved of its most basic fuel, it goes into a mode of conservation and minimal output, so a person who is starving themselves can often be seriously amiss in basic functions that we take for granted.
Anorexia is most commonly associated as a female problem. Although it it probably still more common in females, men can suffer from the disease as well. Men just might be a little better able to hide the disease than women because of the clothes they wear, and because men generally are not paid as much attention to when it comes to their eating habits.
The causes behind anorexia in both sexes is usually the same. Often times this and other eating disorders are all a desperate attempt at taking control and keeping a perfect view of their bodies because they need to have total control over everything in their lives, and they often times have a perfectionism streak.
I know this because I myself went through a struggle with an eating disorder, and the recovery was neither easy nor fun. I learned a lot about myself in the process. I learned that when my disorder started back when I was in my early teens, it was likely in response to some serious turmoil that was going on around me in my household.
I think that this turmoil amounted to me really feeling a need to have control over SOMETHING in my life since i felt that the rest of it was simply spinning out of my realm of control.
Because eating and being thin was a sign of acceptance for me and a sign of beauty, I thought that this would overcome the other feelings of inadequacy and fear I was feeling in my life, and so gradually my eating disorder progressed until it because bigger than me and then consumed the way I lived my life and socialized with others.
Men can get these same disorders as women, it’s just not a “stereotypical” male disorder, so it is often overlooked. If you know a man who you think might be struggling with anorexia, it’s important to know the signs and see if you can help him in any way. After all, anorexia is a very lonely disease.