It Can Happen to Anyone.

It can happen to anyone. When you think of someone suffering from an eating disorder you picture a young female or a famous celebrity that you have seen in a magazine. You never think of a male. But I am here to say it does happen to men and I’m using my time now to write about it and explain what happens.

One of the reasons that I suffered in telling people about my illness is because you never hear about males suffering from eating disorders. When I first started to suffer from this, I didn’t believe that I was suffering from an eating disorder because my thinking was that I am a man, men don’t suffer from eating disorders, only women do. I found myself thinking that I’m less of a man. Men don’t suffer from eating disorders, only women, so it cannot be an eating disorder. This was my mentality. Thinking like this led me to be in denial about my illness and ultimately acted as a catalyst to my mental and physical condition rapidly deteriorating.

I remember looking at information on the Internet trying to see what else it could be because it was not an eating disorder in my head. When you look for information about eating disorders, all you see is information about girls and how you can help girls, nothing about boys. When I got admitted to my hospital, I was told that I was only the second boy to be admitted, though this centre had been open a number of years. I hope writing about my experience will prove to people that men do suffer from eating disorders and they need as much help as women. Ultimately, male or female, this is a devastating illness that ruins lives.
                                            
I was worried about telling people about my illness because I was worried that people would look down on me and treat me differently as a man. My thinking was that I was less of man; now I hated myself which only made the situation worse. It was a vicious cycle that I found myself in. I knew I was ill but I was trying to convince myself that it wasn’t an eating disorder. Part of this illness is in your head and it becomes a battle with yourself. This part of the illness left me. However, even years down the line I still have thoughts about my size and my eating habits, despite becoming stronger. You can learn to overcome the doubts in your head. Once you get the strength to handle the mental side of this illness everything else becomes much easier.

John Linington is 31 years old and currently lives in New Zealand. Ten years ago he suffered from an eating disorder. Now fully recovered, he aims to raise awareness about eating disorders among men. This blog was originally posted at www.johnlinington.com