Men, Depression and Eating Disorders

Men, Depression and Eating DisordersCraving comfort food is a natural reaction to the blues, but for men who use food to chase away sadness, there may be dangerous consequences.

Eating Disorders And Mood Disorders

Eating disorders and depression commonly go hand in hand. Men who suffer from these conditions may go without help because of shame, denial or guilt. Even though disorders such as anorexia or bulimia are commonly associated with women, men are suffering from them at a growing rate. Since many people, including medical professionals, overlook eating disorder signs in men, it’s important to be aware of telltale signs and combat the disease in all its forms.

Signs of Eating Disorders in Men

U.S. adult males are more likely to suffer from binge eating than from other eating disorders. During an adult lifespan, 2 percent of men will suffer from binge eating, 0.5 percent suffering from bulimia and 0.3 percent suffering from anorexia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The numbers are likely even higher, however, because many men are reluctant to report an eating disorder.

Groups like the Boston College Eating Disorder Team believe it’s harder to spot an eating disorder in a man because men feel an added stigma and exhibit greater denial than women. However, men are facing greater pressure about their appearance. They are increasingly targeted by a growing fitness industry and media images showing physically fit men.

Spotting an Eating Disorder

Men who are susceptible to eating disorders, such as binge eating or bulimia, may exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Excessive exercising, particularly at the gym, combined with little food intake
  • Dieting behaviors that become extreme, such as dieting for wrestling that turns into a cycle of binging and purging
  • Constant compulsive eating

The Boston team notes it may be challenging to notice if a man has an eating disorder because he may develop many techniques to hide it.

Treatment for Depression and an Eating Disorder

Many forms of cognitive therapy are helpful to men who suffer from depression and an eating disorder. Both conditions respond well to treatment, which may include a combination of medication and therapy sessions.

Finding Treatment for Depression and an Eating Disorder

There are many effective treatments for depression and a co-occurring eating disorder. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out today and get started on a healthier life. Our counselors are trained to find you the best treatment options, and they are available 24 hours a day. Call our toll-free helpline today.