Many people think that Anorexia nervosa in particular is a rich teenage white girl’s illness and that boys and older people don’t get it. That is where they are WRONG. Eating disorders do not discriminate any race, gender , nationality, age. They are not all caused by ‘wanting to be a model’ it is far deeper than that. It is a complicated illness with many contributing factors. I am posting this to make people more aware that ANYBODY can develop an eating disorder. It creeps up on you and before you know it its got a hold over you.
Whilst i was an inpatient there was a variety of genders and races and yes they were all teenagers/of a similar age but this unit was especially for adolescents and there are plenty of adult eating disorder units.
“Recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2007). This research suggested that up to 25% of those showing signs of an eating disorder were male.” -Beat (b-eat.co.uk)
Although this may not be a large percentage, there are still many people suffering and probably a great amount of people undiagnosed due to lack of understanding and because society makes out that men should be strong and they may be ashamed of having an illness so may not reach out for help.
Also there are several different types of eating disorder , Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Binge eating disorder (BED) and Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) More people need to be aware of the different types of eating disorders, an eating disorder does not mean somebody is skinny , it means that they have an unhealthy relationship with food.
Before the latest change in diagnostic criteria, it was estimated that of those with eating disorders, 10% were anorexic, 40% were bulimic and the rest fall into the EDNOS category which included BED. – Beat (b-eat.co.uk)