Breaking Stereotypes in Mental Illness
Eating disorders do not discriminate based on gender and while they more often affect women than men, there are millions of teen boys silently suffering from this illness. Teen eating disorders in boys are serious diseases to be recognized and treated and often parents are the first step in developing a healthy body image and eating habits.
With about 1 in 10 cases of eating disorders occurring in males, it is important to be aware of the signs unique to a mental illness in boys. Males often diet for a specific reason, either due to being teased or to improve athletic performance. While anorexia and bulimia are found in teen boys, telltale signs often involve excessive bodybuilding, weightlifting and muscle toning.
It has been noticed that doctors are less likely to diagnose a male for an eating disorder than a female. Whether it is due to the general acceptance of over-eating, or under-eating in a male more so than a female, or to the shame boys often feel when suffering from a generalized “female” disease, eating disorders in the male population are serious issues that are often overlooked.
Being aware of risks boys face, especially when it comes to mental disorders and the possibility of them being overlooked can make all the difference for your teen. While it may be less often than girls and left often heard about, teen eating disorders in boys are serious and are more prevalent than often thought. Understanding these disorders as well as treatment options can help get your teen the treatment he needs before anything more serious occurs.