Genuine Help For Eating Disorder sufferers and caregivers.On this site you will learn how to beat your eating disorder with the power of neuroplasticity and awareness therapy.
1. Male Eating Disorders
According to general statistic one out of ten patients with eating
disorders is a man. That means that men are 10% of all eating disorders
suffers, but according to the opinions of many experts the number could
even be higher. The problem with men is that they are reluctant to come
and complain about their problems and hide their problems longer than
All these make it hard to show an accurate statistic for male-sufferers.
Clinicians agree that diagnosing anorexia and bulimia in men is more
difficult than it is in women despite identical behaviours. Men are also
much more likely to be diagnosed with depression associated with appetite
A large proportion of men suffering from eating disorders are athletes.
There is a tendency among male-athletes to diet or avoid certain foods
in order to achieve a target weight or body image.
Other occupations which are prone to developing eating disorders are horse
racing, modelling, dancing, distance running and driving.
The lack of visibility of eating disorders in men means a number of things.
First, men don’t discuss anorexia-bulimia problems and they don’t share
their information with other men. Most of them think that the topic is a
Secondly, men associate beauty with body mass, muscle bulge and definition,
not weight loss. For many men admitting that they have an eating disorder
can undermine their masculinity. This makes men keep their secret about
their eating problems to themselves if they have one.
Thirdly, men think that society expects them to be tough and seeking help
for emotional problems (especially something related to food) makes many
males feel uncomfortable, so they don’t do it.
Nevertheless, the statistic shows that:
- About 3% of men diet all the time or at least ten times a year.
- About 10-14% of young men deliberately vomit after meals in order to
control weight and/or relief their stressful feelings.
- Up to 21% of men have history of binge eating (when they binge food to
moderate their emotions).
The latest studies also showed that psychologically male eating disorders
are similar to female eating disorders. They both have similar emotional
grounds and start for similar reasons.
What are the kind of strategies we can use for prevention and early
intervention of male eating disorders?
1.We should recognise that eating disorders do not discriminate on the
basis of gender and men can be affected the same as women.
2.We need to learn about the warning signs of eating disorders in men:
weight fluctuations, extreme concerns about weight and body image, general
withdrawal from others, extreme fussiness regarding eating certain foods,
mood swings, frequent measurements of their own body and weight, counting
calories and reading food labels, overexercising and the like.
3.We must understand that certain activities and professions (being an athlete,
actor, dancer, jockey etc.) put men at risk of developing eating disorders.
4.We should talk with young men about cultural attitudes to “masculinity”
and how it is portrayed by media.
5.Encourage male’s involvement in traditional “non-masculine” activities
such as shopping, laundry, and cooking.
6. Demonstrate our respect for gay men.
7.Should never emphasise body size or shape as an indication of a man’s
worth or identity as a man.
8.We should confront others who try to tease men who do not meet traditional
cultural expectation for masculinity.
9. As parents and teachers we should listen carefully what young men
are saying about their feelings and emotions and take them seriously.
10. All fathers should understand their important role in the prevention
of eating problems in their sons by not degrading them if they are not
interested in sport or other so called manly events.
To conclude, male eating disorders are an important issue nowadays.
Understanding, talking openly about these problems will help enormously
to fight it. Encourage men to talk and share their experiences will be
the first important step to overcoming it.
If you are dealing with an adult who suffers from an eating disorder, then you should adjust your talk to a relevant format. Remember, an adult may use stronger language than a child would use. Do not get angry. It will not do any good, and will probably make things worse. Plus, the sufferer will not want to confide in you.
Remember that your appearance and tone of your voice should make her/him feel that you are coming with an open heart, and you do it only because you love her/him and care very much about the person: that you don’t have any intention of putting them down or embarrassing them in any way.
Be sensitive, diplomatic and intuitive. Regardless of what happens during the conversation, you should finish the exchange letting the person know that you are willing to listen to them anytime they feel more comfortable about talking.
If the person you want to help doesn’t admit they have a problem, then:
1. Understand that you (and the person close to you) are not responsible for their illness BUT you should take responsibility to do what you can to help them to improve and recover. Without this decision to help, it is more difficult for them to improve on their own.
2. Focus on loving and supportive relationships between you and the sufferer. Avoid being on a drama triangle which means avoid being a “Persecutor”, a “Rescuer”, or a “Victim”.
3. Create intimacy between you and the sufferer. When the sufferer feels completely secure with you, she/he will open up and talk about the problem.
The ways to create intimacy between two people are:
• Be Present and Tune In.
• Ask questions in which you can show your caring and lovable attitude toward the person.
• Listen with Empathy and compassion.
• Accept without Judgment.
• Saying softly “Tell me more….” when you are listening it will make her/him feel immensely loved by you and connected to you at a deeper level.
• Reflect Back.
• Respect Soul.
• Be Transparent. Let others see into your heart and inner world.
• Speak Gently.
• Realize that if the person doesn’t want to talk about her/his problems and denies their anorexia-bulimia, it could be the result of her/his emotional state of mind at that time. They could be experiencing emotional cut-off.
4. Emotional cut-off refers to the mechanisms people use to reduce anxiety from any unresolved emotional issues with parents, siblings, and other members from the family. To avoid sensitive issues, some people either move away from their families or rarely go home. Or, if they remain in physical contact with their families, they avoid sensitive issues by diverting the conversation, cutting off the risk of having to face their emotions.
The opposite of an emotional cut-off is an open intimate relationship. It is a very effective way to reduce a family’s over-all anxiety and acts like security priming.
5. Continue on with your education about eating disorders. The more you know about the disease, the easier it becomes to conquer it.
From our personal experience coping with a person suffering from an eating disorder, it is obvious that there isn’t one single definitive guide or course of action for you or the sufferer to follow that will guarantee a solution to their eating problems.
Your attitude and beliefs about how the sufferer should act and your ability to interact as a caregiver can affect the way you respond to your loved one.
Remember, that if one approach for coping with your loved one’s illness does not work, there is always another way. People who develop eating disorders are absolutely normal. However something happens in their lives that make them suffer emotionally and they turn to an eating disorder to compensate for this emotional discomfort.
So you as a caregiver have to be very understanding, caring and most of all none- judgmental if you really want to help.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the human brain to change itself based on how we live our lives. Our brain consists of cells or neurons that are interconnected. It means that different life experiences and different behaviours are constantly changing the strength of these connections, by adding or removing connections, and by adding new cells.
“Plasticity” relates to learning by adding or removing connections, or adding cells. According to the theory of neuroplasticity, thinking, learning, and acting actually change the brain’s physical structure or anatomy as well as functional organization, known as physiology, from top to bottom.
The brain’s plasticity exists from “cradle to grave” and the adult brain is not “hard-wired” with fixed and immutable neuronal circuits as was previously thought.
So, neuroplasticity is the power to produce a more flexible and beneficial behaviour for the treatment of eating disorders. However, these positive changes will only happen if you target the eating disorder in a certain way. These can be subdivided into 5 steps of actions that you should undertake to stop your eating disorder.
The 1st step: Believe that you can stop your eating disorder.
Do exercises to begin changing the way your mind works.
2nd step: Re- Identify.
Recognize the false nature of your eating disorder thoughts.
3rd step: Re-Symbolize.
Escape from loop thinking that feeds the eating disorder.
Loop thinking is when a thought like binging or starving oneself gets caught in a loop going around it the brain continuously and never being released.
4th step: Re-Direct.
Defeat recurrent thoughts that give power to the disorder.
5th step: Re-Evaluate.
De-value and ignore harmful urges until they start to fade away.
By following these steps you can clearly see that by directing your attention away from food, weight and body image, you could learn to focus on positive eating habits and overcome destructive negative thoughts. Doing this, you as a eating disorder sufferer will be able to make permanent changes to your own neuronal pathways and change your life.
To conclude, I want to say that the power of neuroplasticity can be a real “cure” for eating disorder sufferers. By eating disorder “cure” I mean that you achieve a state of mind where you can control your thoughts and feelings, instead of the thoughts and feelings controlling you. You can do this by influencing your subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is your hidden level of awareness, where your automatism lies. This part of your brain controls all the things you have learned that are now automatic such as riding a bike, tying your shoe laces, and unfortunately for the sufferer the place where the eating disorder lives.
With the help of the 5 steps you will learn that it is possible for you to reach your subconscious mind and make certain positive changes that will turn your life around: at escape from your eating disorder.
How to be happy?
The pursuit of happiness has become a global obsession. But do all people achieve this blissful and desirable state like happiness? Well, the statistics show that nearly one in four Australians have some sort of emotional or mental problems. Plus many people who do not have any diagnosis of mental or emotional disorders do not consider themselves happy.
Of course there are many reasons today for people to be unhappy: like economical crisis, job crisis, relationship crisis, health problems and much more. But the main reason for unhappiness today is considered to be the negative thought patterns that people create in their own minds and people stick to these negative thought patterns as they seem to be unable to detach themselves from their negative thoughts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way because everyone can be happy and feel good about themselves regardless of their situation or backgrounds. And now I want to share with you 4 simple steps which can help you to feel happy at least most of the time in your life.
1st Step: is to Determine what happiness means to you. Just sit down, take a paper and a pen and write down what happiness means for you. Because if you don’t know what happiness means for you then the chances are that you will never be able to find happiness.
Happiness can mean different things to different people. For example, for one person it may mean being in a relationship, for someone else it may mean feeling you have the ability to handle whatever life throws at you or maybe you need to have a purpose in life to be happy or just simply to have more fun.
Whatever it is that makes you happy – but you have to be careful not to relate it to purely physical pleasure. Physical pleasure lasts for only a fleeting moment and it normally comes from the outside world and not from the internal world where true happiness comes from. Plus if you rely on only external things to make you happy, then you will certainly have problems defining what happiness really is.
2nd Step: Act as if you are already happy. Neuroscience now proves that “acting as if” you have a trait causes both brain changes and chemical changes throughout the body. Therefore “acting as if you are happy now” with attention to what you are doing is a very powerful technique for realising what happiness is.
Just think about this: “How does a happy person talk? How does a happy person walk? How does a happy person smile? “Imagine all these behaviours, fix them in your mind, then do it – act as if you are a happy person now .
Or in other words : “Fake it – until you make it.”
3rd Step to gaining happiness is to Meditate
Meditation is proven to increase happiness and contentment within yourself and people who meditate regularly are much happier then people who do not.
You must meditate at least 10 min a day in order to clear your mind from the burden of everyday hassles and put your brain into certain brain wave activities that creates happiness. You may already know that our brain works on different brain wave lengths and that brain waves activity change throughout the day: when we are stressed our brains works on one level of brain wave activity, when we are relaxed and happy brain wave activity changes to a different wave type.
Research shows that regular meditation creates certain brain wave activity that is associated with relaxation, happiness and internal satisfaction.
4th Step : Love .
You have to love and be loved in this world in order to be happy. Everyone desires love even those who seem to be cold and detached, they still want to be loved. Love does not mean to only love the opposite sex, or just sexual attraction this is only one kind of love and normally ends up as being superficial anyway.
Love is a universal feeling: you can love what you do –your job or your hobby, you can love your family and friends, and you can love your house, your dog or your cat. You can love many things and your LOVE will make you happy. So , if you ever feel unhappy find love and love deeply, unconditionally and you will see that there is no better happiness then to love and be loved.
To sum up I want to say that there is no person in this room who can’t improve their life and can’t learn to be happy. We all can and deserve to be happy. And basically this is what our life is about? What is the deep meaning in our life? It is just to be happy and make others happy as well. Because “The person who is happy will make others happy, too.”
Why happiness is important? – Happier people are generally healthier people – not only mentally, but also physically. So you can see than happiness is actually something that is really important, and is something that you might want to increase if you can. And following the 4 steps will help you to do that.
You only need to:
1. Determine what happiness means to you.
2. Acting as if you are happy now.
3. Meditation for at least 10 min a day
4. To Love all things as much as possible and as deeper as you possible can
And I guarantee that these 4 steps to happiness will make you happy forever!