Anorexia in Men | Help for Men with Anorexia

Eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia, are typically associated with women. However, the number of men dealing with this serious health issue is significant and is increasing. Anorexia in men is a major concern, but there is help for men with anorexia.

A Serious Health Condition

Anorexia is a potentially life threatening eating disorder. An individual with anorexia will severely restrict his food intake to the point where he suffers from nutritional deficiencies that can create major complications for his physical health. This may be done as an attempt to help manage emotional challenges the individual is experiencing, which can also be an issue for his mental health.

In fact, anorexia nervosa is considered to be a serious mental health condition and is often accompanied by other issues such as depression and anxiety. The condition generally involves an unrealistic body image for the individual as well as an exaggerated fear of gaining weight.

Affects Any Sex or Gender

Although typically thought of an issue that affects women, anorexia can affect anyone of any gender or sex. In fact, men represent about a fourth of the people who have been diagnosed with anorexia. The effects of the condition are more likely to be life threatening for men than for women, primarily because men will typically seek treatment much later, if at all.

Eating disorders will affect about 10 million males in the US at some point in their lives. However, men are much less likely to seek help in large part because of cultural bias. Men are largely undiagnosed as they face the double stigma of seeking psychological treatment and of having an eating disorder. Assessments tests for the condition are often geared toward women as well, which also leads to misconceptions about the nature of eating disorders among men.

A Growing Concern

Studies that have compared data over a 10-year period found that the rate of extreme dieting, or anorexia, and purging, or bulimia, have increased at a faster rate in men than in women. Men generally are also dealing with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, compulsive exercise, and substance abuse, along with their eating disorder.

Anorexia often begins to appear in a young man’s teenage years or early adulthood. The health risks and life threatening aspect of this illness can be much more severe in men, as they continue to resist diagnosis and treatment through their early years and into adulthood. The hesitation and stigma associated with the eating disorder can create a snowball effect in men.

If a man with anorexia does not seek care, his symptoms can become increasingly worse. Since men are generally under-represented in the medical literature regarding eating disorders, there can also be a lack of awareness or knowledge about the potentially devastating effects. Anorexia has one of the highest mortality and suicide rates of any psychiatric disorder, as about 10.5% of those individuals who are diagnosed with the condition may die because of their illness.

Recognition and Treatment are Critical

Recognizing the symptoms of anorexia in men is critical to the health and well-being of the individual suffering from the condition. He may be working out excessively, in an attempt to improve his body image, while also eating very little, even adhering to certain restrictive fad diets. He may be constantly weight himself or checking his appearance in a mirror. He may also withdraw from or avoid completely any social gatherings involving food.

Anorexia involves a range of emotional and psychological challenges that can be difficult for an individual to overcome on his own. For the individual’s mental and physical health, it is critical that he seek out professional treatment. Particularly since the risk of mortality for men with eating disorders is higher for men than it is for women, it is imperative to overcome the stigma and get help.

Help for Men with Anorexia

A gender-sensitive approach to address anorexia in men recognizes the different needs and dynamics involved for males. An all-male environment is particularly helpful for those individuals who may feel uncomfortable discussing their situation in a program that includes women. Understanding the need to overcome the stereotypes and stigma is best addressed in a gender-sensitive setting.

Support for Men at PACE Recovery

Eating disorders can negatively impact your physical and mental health and may lead to an addiction to drugs or alcohol. At PACE Recovery, we offer gender-specific treatment options to optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your addiction to drugs or alcohol and mental health issues. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Alcohol affects how you feel and how you function. You may feel energized and excited at first but then become sleepy and even disoriented. Drinking excessive amounts or for extended periods of time can be seriously detrimental to your health. With so many different effects on your mind and body, is alcohol a drug?

A Long History

The effects of alcohol have been known for a very long time. Attempts to regulate the consumption of the drink also have a long history. For the past 300 years, the word alcohol has been synonymous with “spirituous liquids.’ Before that, codes limiting the consumption of the beverage date back to 1700 BC.

Among the four types of alcohol, ethyl or ethanol is the type used to produce alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is the intoxicating agent found in wine, beer, and liquor. It is produced by fermenting yeasts, starches, and sugars. Consuming any of the other three, methyl, propyl, and butyl, can result in blindness and death, even if taken in small doses.

Today, just over half an ounce of pure alcohol is the equivalent to one drink. This amount can be found in a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or a 1.5 ounce shot of 80-proof liquor.

How the Body Processes Alcohol

Alcohol is a drug known primarily as a central nervous system depressant. It lowers an individual’s cognitive and physical capacities, even in small amounts. The substance elevates the neurotransmitter known as GABA and reduces nerve signals along the pathway.

As it passes through the body, 90% is metabolized in the liver. The liver can only metabolize a small amount of the substance at one time, so the excess alcohol is left to circulate throughout the body.

An enzyme converts the alcohol to a toxin known as acetaldehyde which is then metabolized to eventually become carbon dioxide and water. Along the way, alcohol affects every organ in the body. It is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine as it makes its way into the bloodstream.

The amount an individual consumes directly impacts the intensity of the alcohol’s effects. Using alcohol with other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines or opioids can have dangerous effects on the mind and the body.

Stimulant and Depressant

Although alcohol is a depressant drug, it can have an initial stimulant effect. When consumed in lower doses, it increases an individual’s heart rate as well as the sense of impulsiveness and aggression as it causes a surge in dopamine levels.

Once the stimulant effects wear off, the alcohol will slow down the central nervous system, decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and mental clarity in the individual who continues to drink. Someone who consumes large amounts of alcohol will have slower reaction times and begin to feel sedated and disoriented. Higher doses can then suppress the production of dopamine, making a person feel listless and sad.

Dangers of the Drug

Like most other drugs, consuming too much alcohol can be harmful. An individual does not have to be dependent or addicted for the alcohol to have negative effects on their health. If they binge drink, defined as having five or more drinks within two to three hours for men, the results can be serious. Heavy drinking, defined as 15 or more drinks a week for men, can also have harmful, even devastating, consequences.

Excessive alcohol consumption leads to over 95,000 deaths each year in the US. It can also increase the risk for injuries, violence, family problems, and accidents, especially from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Long-term health issues are also a consequence of excessive consumption of the drug, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Alcohol consumption can also impact mental health, increasing anxiety and depression. The central nervous system depressant can alter an individual’s thoughts and judgment, impacting their decision-making capabilities. Sleep quality is also worsened with alcohol consumption, which can make it more difficult to deal with stress.

Gender-Specific Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When you have developed an alcohol addiction and want to stop drinking, we are here for you. Detox and supervised withdrawal will help you safely process the mental and physical symptoms so you can move forward with a healthy recovery. If you are struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, please contact PACE Recovery Center to learn more about our programs and services. We offer gender-specific treatment for men who have a desire to turn their life around. Recovery is possible, and we can help.

10 Quotes About Losing a Loved One

Losing someone close to you, even if they had been ill for some time, can be very upsetting. The grief can be challenging to overcome, particularly if you are also dealing with a mental health or substance use issue. It is okay to grieve. In fact, it is natural to spend some time after losing someone adjusting to the change. As you are processing your loss, it can be helpful to read through these 10 quotes about losing a loved one.

Grieving is Normal

The process of grieving is, quite simply, adjusting to your loss. Being sad after losing a loved one is a natural reaction. As Abigail Nathanson, professor of grief and trauma at New York University, says, “grief isn’t an illness. It’s not a sign something went wrong. It’s actually a sign something is going right.” She adds that “we’re hardwired to seek out relationships, and we’re hardwired to mourn when they end.”

There are a number of beneficial ways to work through the grieving process. One is to lean on a positive network of supportive friends and family members. You might also discuss your struggles with a mental health professional. You can also read through quotes about losing a loved one that are inspirational and remind you that you are not alone in your feelings of loss.

Quotes About Keeping the Memories

As you work through your loss of a loved one, cherish the memories you have of them. There were certainly good times and bad, and each of those can help keep your loved one close in your mind and in your heart.

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories.”—Leo Buscaglia, author, motivational speaker, and professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California

“Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.”—Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer

Quotes About Learning to Live with Your Loss

Finding support and comfort after losing your loved one can be critical to your ability to move on. Even then, though, you will continue to remember your loved one and feel the loss in your life. The key is to learn how to manage your grief, for your mental and emotional health and well-being.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”—Elizabeth Kubler Ross, author of On Grief and Grieving

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”—Helen Keller, American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer

“Grief is like the ocean. It comes in waves, sometimes calm and sometimes overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” —Vicki Harrison, author

“The only cure for grief is to grieve.” —Earl Grollman, writer

Quotes About Healing

Remembering the person you were close to and honoring that memory through your own life can be incredibly healing after losing a loved one.

“If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author

“When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you’re going to take whatever lesson that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It’s a positive way to keep their spirit alive in the world by keeping it alive in yourself.” —Patrick Swayze, actor

“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.” —C.S. Lewis, author and lay theologian

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” —Leo Tolstoy, author

Dual Diagnosis Support for Men

When you are grieving after losing a loved one, we are here to support you in your recovery. At PACE Recovery, we offer integrated treatment that will address the mental health and substance use issues you may be dealing with now. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

The professionals at PACE understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

List of Phobias Most Common in Men

Fear is a natural instinct, a powerful emotion that stems from your perception of a threat. Sometimes that threat is real and sometimes it is not. When you have a lasting and irrational fear of a certain situation or a certain object, that is known as a phobia. Men and women experience similar fears, but there are many phobias most common in men.

Uncontrollable and Lasting Fear

Phobias are considered to be anxiety disorders. They are one of the most common types of mental disorders among adults in the US, falling into three categories. In essence, a phobia is an uncontrollable and lasting fear that can lead to a crippling avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias can also lead to panic attacks.

Among the types of phobias, 10% of individuals in the US have specific phobias, 7.1% have social phobias, and 0.9% have agoraphobia, the fear of situations in which escape is difficult.

Three Type of Phobias

Agoraphobia is one of three types of phobias. People who are diagnosed with this condition may be fearful of being alone outside their own home or have a fear of being “trapped” in a crowded place. Agoraphobia is usually associated with panic disorder.

Social phobias include a fear of public speaking, which is one of the most common fears among young people and adults. It can also be a fear of meeting new people or of being in certain other social situations.

Specific phobias involve specific objects or situations. A fear of clowns, for example, is a specific phobia.

Phobias Most Common in Men

Recent statistics indicate that the number one fear for men is acrophobia, the fear of heights. Acrophobia is, in fact, one of the more common phobias for both men and women. Although many people may not be comfortable at the top of a tall building or a high bridge, men with acrophobia have serious panic attacks when confronted with a situation that presents them with a view from a high place.

Additionally, men have been found to have a fear of:

  • Snakes (ophidiophobia)
  • Dentists (dentophobia or odontophobia)
  • Injections (trypanophobia)
  • Thunder (astraphobia)
  • Being maimed (dysmorphophobia).

In addition, nearly half of men are afraid of seeing a doctor (iatrophobia) and over a third are worried about going bald (phalacrophobia).

Common Fears Among Men

Fears that are not necessarily categorized as phobias have also been identified as being common in men, including the fear of:

  • Failing – perhaps being afraid of disappointing others or themselves, and/or of living with the anticipated sense of shame they believe accompanies failure.
  • Being incompetent – fearing that they don’t have what it takes to accomplish a task or to succeed in a job or relationship.
  • Being weak or being perceived as weak – one of the biggest fears for men, as they tend to believe they are not supposed to be weak or even to be perceived as such.
  • Being irrelevant – fear and stress in wanting their lives to mean something.
  • Appearing foolish – keeping men from speaking up in groups or taking on a challenge as they fear losing credibility.

Complications of Phobias

A phobia that is not treated can seriously impact a man’s quality of life. When someone is afraid of something, they might go to great lengths to avoid the place, situation, or object. This situation can cause significant anxiety in the individual. It can also cause other complications in the person’s life. For example, a fear of flying can keep someone from being able to travel for work or for enjoyment.

In addition, individuals who experience phobias that disrupt their lives may be twice as likely to suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The anxiety that stems from a phobia can be life threatening as well, increasing the risk of a man suffering from heart disease.

Mental Health Treatment for Men at PACE

If you are experiencing a phobia with anxiety and panic attacks, reach out to the professionals at PACE Recovery. We optimize your recovery success with integrated treatment that will address both your mental health and any substance use issues you may also have developed as a result of your phobia. We address your whole person, including your spiritual, medical, psychosocial, and relational facets.

At PACE, we understand the challenges you are facing during this period of isolation and uncertainty. We’re here to help. Our men’s-only programming has transformed hundreds of lives over the years, and we believe that you can recover. To learn more about our mental health and addiction services, contact our Admissions team.

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