'The book is immensely reassuring to any parent who has experienced at first hand the problems that a young boy already caught up in the maelstrom of adolescence can both experience and cause when anorexia arrives. Any parent or carer concerned about a boy who may be developing or has already developed an eating disorder will find this book useful and supportive even when it is talking about the most difficult problems that affect sufferers and their families' - Signpost `This is a detailed observational account of severe Anorexia Nervosa in a boy, and the effect on his family. It documents their emotional and torturous journey through treatment back to full health. The descriptions of the disorder are written without jargon and with great accuracy. The book is packed with practical tips on how to manage everyday situations. This is truly a book that adolescents, their families, and clinicians should read' - Dr David Firth, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist `'Boys don’t get anorexia' is a phrase that any parent who is concerned about a son who is losing too much weight or exercising excessively will hear at some time or other. Well, boys DO get eating disorders and in this very personal and insightful book, Jenny Langley looks at what it means to have a son who does in fact have anorexia. Jenny writes about the way in which the disorder crept up on her family and then seemed to take over the household. The slow painful climb of [her] son back to recovery is recounted in uncomfortable detail. Ultimately however this is a story of hope. Joe does recover eventually and although life is by no means the same as before, it does return to a new normality' - From the foreword by Steve Bloomfield, Eating Disorders Association Eating disorders are usually associated with females but there are an increasing number of males affected by anorexia and bulimia. Often there is a link between male eating disorders and athletic prowess, and the quest for physical perfection can result in damaging behaviours associated with diet, supplements and exercise. This unique and important book combines a mine of information with a readable and engaging case study. The author was shocked and horrified when her son developed anorexia at the age of twelve. Having a research background, she naturally turned her attention to finding out as much as she could about how best to combat this terrifying illness. Her son is now fully recovered and has supported this book that not only describes their experiences, but also provides a practical guide on how to cope with male eating disorders. A much needed resource for other parents in similar situations, the book will also be of interest to people working in health centres, clinics and hospitals. It will also be invaluable for youth support groups, teachers and sports coaching staff, who are often the first to be aware of concerns about eating disorders in young men. Jenny is a Chartered Accountant who worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years. Latterly she has also worked in the Financial Services Industry (for six years) as a pharmaceutical and healthcare analyst and salesperson. She is a member of the Eating Disorder Association and a volunteer member of their Self Help Network.
Chapter 4: What to Look Out for
What to Look Out for
Anorexic boys and girls display similar physical and psychological changes as their illness starts to take hold, although boys are more likely to be concerned with their athleticism, whilst girls are much more concerned with their basic body image.
As I have already mentioned, one of the key difficulties in diagnosing anorexia in boys is that lots of boys go through extremely skinny phases whilst maintaining a healthy appetite. If you suspect that your son is suffering from an eating disorder, it is an invaluable exercise to note down any changes to his behaviour however small they might seem at the time. As the weeks go past you may well forget that he didn't used to have ...