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Casual Contributor

Anorexia in boys

Hi there, I'm new to this forum & carer of a young son with atypical anorexia (athletica). With so much geared towards the healing of girls and women who suffer the disorder, it sometimes feels there is little to no support or research around healing boys. The language is very feminised and stories are quite foreign...I sometimes feel like we are the first family going down this path filled with butterflies and lacking understanding of how the male mind works Smiley Sad Hopefully I am wrong?


Re: Anorexia in boys

Hi Alonsy,

Welcome to Sane Australia and thanks for your post. It can feel very isolating when caring for a child with an eating disorder, however you are certainly not alone! Whilst much of the research and information is geared towards females, up to 25% of people with an eating disorder are male. There is still much stigma about eating disorders, however society has certainly come leaps and bounds in raising awareness of the hardships sufferers and carers experience.

If you haven’t already, check out our website where you will find information on eating disorders and males- , - as well as books directed at males experiencing anorexia, -

At Eating Disorders Victoria we also offer a range of services including Support groups, Psychologists, a Helpline, a Forum, and referrals. Please feel free to contact us on 1300 550 236 if you want to find out some more information or just have a chat.

Take care of yourself and remember recovery is possible for everyone!


Eating Disorders Victoria Helpline Team.

Re: Anorexia in boys

Welcome @alonsy

I'm glad you found us.

Can I ask how old your son is?
I know as a carer your main focus is on your son, but do you have mechanisms in place to take care of yourself too?

Re: Anorexia in boys

Thank you for your support and kind words, Claire. I am particularly interested in nutritional healing in terms of Anorexia, and how to mitigate the sport/metabolism/ unbelievably quick growth factor in boys whilst fighting to ensure my son maintains the right weight. I had a look at the websites you recommended already & might try some of the books,as websites/forums are a bit of hit and miss to get info on anorexia & adolescent boys. It has been a bit challenging to manage the stigma and gender divide. I may give the helpline a go when I'm brave enough!
Thanks again,

Re: Anorexia in boys

My son is 12. It happened incredibly fast, and before we knew it, we were facing a situation where he could have died in his sleep, as it affected his heart. At the moment there is very little time for respite, let alone self care. Supervising Meals take up at least 6 to 8 hours, and combined with work commitments, researching the disorder and nedical appointments I am certainly  feeling slightly overwhelmed some days...particularly because of the insidious nature of the illness that has taken away my son.

Re: Anorexia in boys


Hi Alonsy,

It sounds like a really difficult time for you and your son, and at times it can feel very overwhelming. However try to remember that this illness is not your son, and recovery is possible for everyone, even though it can feel like a long and treacherous journey. Interacting on our forums and reading books about eating disorders are both great ways to help you understand your son’s eating disorder.  Our forums are designed to promote the sharing of experiences and feelings with people who have been through similar life experiences, who won’t pose judgement and will support your situation. For future reference please communicate with EDV through our Carer’s forum which I have linked below.

I know calling up the helpline can be a bit frightening, but trust me we are really lovely people. So if you ever just feel like venting to someone or you’re having a hard day, we are more than happy to listen. I understand that there are only so many hours in one day and looking after your son requires full time care, but allocating half an hour a day to take time out for yourself could really help you in managing your own emotions. I have recently discovered meditation, all it takes is 20 minutes and it has had proven to be beneficial for both your health and mental wellbeing. We also have a variety of workshops available for carers, if that’s  something that you would be interested in do not hesitate to contact Eating Disorders Victoria on 1300 550 236.   

On our website we have a variety of readings available. One reading which I thought would be of particular interest to you is the ‘”Help your teenager beat an eating disorder”. This book focuses on how to monitor your teens eating and exercise, manage mealtimes, end weight-related power struggles, and partner successfully with health care providers to help adolescents overcome eating disorders. If you are interested in any other readings I have attached the link which will provide you with various options.”-family-and-friends

Your perseverance and patience is inspirational. We hope that we can help you in some way through this hard time. As mentioned previously the helpline is always available if you need a chat. 

Kind regards, Danielle.  

Re: Anorexia in boys

Thank you for all the advice and help. Much appreciated.

Re: Anorexia in boys

Tjust a quick reply . are you his care?. is yes please contact carers vicoria to see if they can support YOU through this. They have a website or call cares helpline : 1800 242 636. ask if they can offer any support to you. all the educate yourself about the illness and read as much as you can about it, ask questions to thise who are treating your son. be assertive and get what you need to manage everything. go onto google there is so much onfo out there.

Re: Anorexia in boys

many of us familes face issues. you are going to get through this. time will help and understanding towards your son, its not his falut he is ill . show him love and support . and if you need support dont be a hero and keep plugging through , reach out it is really the best for all involved. this is a new journey and we all have been there so information and knowledge are powerful thing to have to help you. Never feel alone and alsway ask as many questions without second guessing yourseal is it right or wrong to ask this, if you feel its a question you need to ask then do just that. we all relate to the what you are going through. ask your son how you can best support him , he will tell you . love to you all. xxx

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