You might think that in writing this blog, I think that only women are afflicted with eating disorders. Not so.
The reality is that men, too, suffer from eating disorder and body image problems, and they seem to be closing the gap in the gender discrepancy we previously knew - or thought we knew.
A number of people and organizations are getting loud about the problem in eating disorders in men. One is Sam Thomas, the founder of director of Men Get Eating Disorders Too, a UK-based charity designed to raise awareness and provide support to men with eating disorders.
Recently, Thomas wrote an article* dedicated to Jeremy Gillitzer, whom he credits as helping him inspire him to found his organization. In the article, Thomas mentions that Gillitzer lost his life to his eating disorder (in 2010 at age 38).
Reading this article struck me like a ton of bricks. I remember Jeremy posting in these circles back in my early blogging days. I remember reading his story and seeing his pictures and, to be one hundred percent honest, thinking to myself, "This guy is going to die." And sadly, he did. I disclose this with a sense of helplessness and regret that none of us were able to bolster Jeremy in fighting this disease.
So, be clear, as Thomas says, men get eating disorders, too. They may not get treatment as frequently or quickly as women because of the shame associated with having a traditionally "female" disorder and because they fly under the radar of professionals and the world around them, but it is imperative that we support and take action on behalf of all of our brothers in need.
*Note: There is a picture of Jeremy at the bottom of the article (in his illness) that may be triggering and/or difficult to view.