Published on July 8, 2009
Issue 2 July 7 Inside this issue: ********** Body Image and Eating Disorders in Males Cover Story Cont’d 2 Paul W. Gallant, CHE, MHK, BRec (TR) Chairperson’s Message 3 Healthcare Consultant (An earlier version of a similar article was published by NEDIC, 2008) Body Image Network 4 Public Support 4 When we hear terms such as anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, or of concerns about body image, we rarely think of males. Historically, the shame Centre for Hope 5 and fear of humiliation drove males with eating disorders underground (Corson & Andersen, 2002). Walk of Hope 5 Yet, according to some, males are susceptible to a greater variety of weight Eating Disorder concerns and body images problems than females (Cash & Pruzinsky, 2002). Support Groups 6 More than 300 years ago Dr. Richard Morton documented the first case of an eating disorder in a male. News & Events 8 In the past few years more males have been publicly sharing their ex- Contact Us 8 periences and struggles around their own eating disorders, perhaps in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with this illness in males. There is a heightened awareness of eating disorders in males. Recent media and blogs include per- sonal stories about male’s struggles with eating disorders, excessive exercise, extreme dieting, and body image problems. Such real life stories help us to un- derstand the range of experiences facing males who have overcome, continue Board of Directors to struggle with, or in some cases succumb to, eating disorders. The publicized stories of males struggling with eating disorders include Vince Withers (Chair) those of John Prescott, former Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, David Beckwer- Wilf Curran (Vice Chair) ment, a Canadian oil CEO, Gary Grahl, an American school counselor, and U.S. model Ron Saxen. Dr Thomas Holbrook, an eating disorder expert, shares his Gerry Angel – Treasurer personal struggle and recovery from an eating disorder as a co-author of Mak- ing Weight. For some males such as Michael Krasnow, the ending is tragic. Dr. Natalie Beausoleil Michael died shortly after publishing his autobiography detailing his struggle Stephanie Kendall (Corner Brook) with anorexia. For most males, the silence – indeed, secrecy – about their eat- ing disorders needs to be better understood in order to provide appropriate pre- Dr. Olga Heath vention and treatment for males at risk. Dr. Anna Dominic How many males have eating disorders? Patrick Collins (Conception Bay Recent studies suggest that as many as one in four cases of eating disor- North) ders occur in males (Hudson et al., 2007). Some research suggests that this number is likely to be substantially higher among male athletes, especially those Ronald Ryan for whom there are weight classes or aesthetic ideals, e.g. rowers, jockeys, Cathy Skinner wrestlers, dancers, gymnasts, and body builders, male models, and gay males. Other research suggests this somewhat stereotypical view of eating disorders in Patricia Nash particular athletic groups and gay men may be less evident than originally thought. The differences in findings may be due to the different samples of Staff Tina Martin males studied.
Page 2 The Butterflyer Issue 2 The risk factors for males for an eating disorder? There are many factors that increase vulnerability to developing an eating disorder. These include per- fectionism, childhood obesity, genetic liability, dysfunctional eating of a parent, chaotic family environment, impulsivity, depression, teasing, heightened sensitivity, dieting, low self esteem, and body dissatisfaction. Body dissatisfaction has emerged as one of the most agreed upon and vigorous risk factors for eating disor- ders. In males body dissatisfaction related to shape and muscularity appears to be a greater predictor of eat- ing disorders symptomatology than concern with weight alone, as is the case for females (Ricciardelli & McCabe, 2004). Males in western societies are increasingly expected to conform to both traditionally prized masculin- ities such as independence, self-control, strength and problem-solving as well as to now also be emotionally sensitive and responsive, care-giving and family oriented. Pressure to conform to masculine stereotypes in- cluding muscularity is also part of the socio-cultural pressures that men and adolescent boys face. Muscu- larity in men is seen to denote power, character and strength and is thus seen as desirable. Eating disor- ders in males thus may begin with over-exercising, which gives the sense individual of achievement and self- control, and then include increasingly restrictive or otherwise problematic eating, leading to an eating disor- der. Barriers to identification and help In males and females the systemic denial of the existence of the illness as a legitimate medical problem also does little to encourage treatment seeking among individuals who are already ambivalent about recovery or seeking help. Many authors consistently report that men are often reluctant to seek help and support for any medical condition and particularly mental illness. Traditional stereotypes of men as strong and invulnerable may hamper males with eating disorders from acknowledging and disclosing their eating disorder in fear of being seen as being an inadequate man. Additional reasons why males are underrepresented in eating dis- orders treatment and research include the view that it is a ‘female-only problem’, driving allocation of re- sources to this larger population with eating disorders. This is compounded by poor knowledge and identifi- cation by health professionals of eating disorders in general, and in males in particular. Hearing from men with eating disorders Recent studies with small numbers of males with eating disorders indicated that most of the male par- ticipants had a low to very low quality of life (Gallant et al. 2009). Most males did not receive formal eating disorders treatment. Reasons for this lack of treatment included not disclosing their eating disorder, not feel-
Issue 2 The Butterflyer Page 3 ing supported and understood when initially seeking help for eating disorders symptoms, and not feeling comfortable in a female treatment environment. The absence of resources specific to males with eating dis- orders was identified as a problem by most participants (Gallant & Birmingham, 2008). Summary and Recommendations The treatment of males with eating disorders is often not mentioned in research papers or its absence ex- plained. The voices and needs of males with eating disorders remain largely unheard in our society. Little is written on the subject of males suffering from eating disorders and few services are specifically designed to meet their needs. An increased understanding of the perspectives of males with eating disorders will add to public and health providers’ knowledge of the challenges males face, provide further insights into prevention and treatment, plus contribute towards added support to males who struggle with eating disorders. Researchers need to account for males in their studies and attempt to justify their omission from the research or ensure their samples also attempt to include or recruit males. Developing trust through the creation of respect and demonstration of understanding for what it is like to be a person with an eating disorder and specifically what is it like to be a man with an eating disorder are fundamental to establishing an effective treatment strategy (Andersen, Cohn, & Holbrook, 2000). Community support groups as well as separate treatment groups for males would provide opportuni- ties for increased openness and confidence building among males with eating disorders plus permit a focus on more gender-specific aspects of the illness. An intermediate solution may be to ensure males at least have another male present in any treatment group “so as not to feel totally isolated” (Andersen, 2002) and that the therapists are sensitive to males concerns. To promote the increased expertise in working with males who have eating disorders clinicians may consider temporarily applying admission criteria that are more liberal so as to permit more males to be followed in the program and to gain increased competencies treating men. If males are not attending treatment or support programs the obstacles to obtaining such sup- port in that specific program or agency need to be further explored. Feedback and future research Feedback on this article is welcome and invited. Future research is planned with males who have eating disorders. For feedback, to share your experiences of eating disorders in males, or for further information about this article, kindly email the author in confidence. Email: Paul@GallantHealthWorks.com Paul is a Newfoundlander living in British Columbia. Hope Always Message By Chairperson I want to take this opportunity to say that our collective efforts to create awareness and improve treatment and support services for eating disorder families is beginning to show real progress. Organizations and groups such as the Parents of Hope, the Eating Disorder Working Group of Eastern Health, the Body Image Network, the new Center for Hope and the Foundation are working diligently and collaboratively to focus their available resources where the most need exists. Recent efforts by the Community Capacity Building Group to provide an extensive training program for community healthcare leadership has great promise and the recent launch in Corner Brook was well re- ceived by some 50 participants. The Body Image Network has been actively working on an early childhood education program. Their project, which has taken two years of volunteer work, is ready for implementation in our schools and we expect this effort to be a major start in getting an important wellness message out to our most vulnerable young people. These two educational programs once fully implemented will, in my view, support our awareness efforts and most importantly highlight the need for a more proactive approach to education, training and wellness. We have been anxiously awaiting the new Center for Hope. While it has been active for the past year in temporary quarters, it has now moved to its new home on Major’s Path. The Center for Hope is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a dedicated group of people who in my opinion have put together a first
Page 4 The Butterflyer Issue 2 class facility committed to substantially improving treatment and support services. The Center will act as our front door hopefully for many more opportunities to build on a growing momentum to be more responsive and caring for our eating disorder families. The Foundation has been preoccupied with the need to improve support services for families. There is a critical need to better understand the impact eating disorders are having on families and recent Families Supporting Families Information Sessions have highlighted an urgent need to be more responsive. The Foundation will continue to increase its efforts in this area and hopefully with the family support programs being offered by the Center for Hope and the Parents of Hope we can look forward to better preparing fami- lies for successful recovery. We are also encouraged by the establishment of community family support groups in Corner Brook and Labrador City. The objective being in time having similar support groups in most major centers in our province. Since the Foundation opened its office two years ago we have heard from hundreds of families de- scribing in vivid detail their life experiences coping with an eating disorder family member. We have at- tempted to support these families and continue to advise them to seek immediate medical attention, empha- sizing that early detection and early treatment are essential to a successful recovery. It’s clear to the Foun- dation that families are coming forward in great numbers to discuss the early signs of an eating disorder. This is really good news and hopefully as awareness increases families can overcome the stigma and self blame so common amongst the public. As I mentioned earlier these few words are intended to be upbeat and hopeful and I want to assure you that good progress in being made on all fronts. The Foundation and its partners are working closely to- gether to coordinate and collaborate on many good support programs, however while optimistic I want to say our objective of continuous improvement, in other words today is a better day than yesterday, is a sen- sible and realistic approach to meeting the needs of our eating disorder families. At times we are short of resources however we are not short of enthusiasm and commitment. Taking the liberty of speaking for my colleagues, it needs to be said we are listening, we are responding and we believe in and intend to be pro- active in what we stand for: HOPE ALWAYS. If you want to discuss what I have said here or discuss any aspect of our work you can contact me at 722-0500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Vince Withers Body Image Network The Body Image awareness, research, advocacy and collaboration we Network is a group encourage eating well, being active and feeling good of individuals and about oneself. We provide education sessions for organizations com- professionals and students. We distribute current mitted to promoting information to professionals and to the general pub- a positive social lic. We organize awareness events and speak in the environment through sharing information on body media. We review, conduct and participate in re- image, self-esteem, obesity and eating disorders. search. We advocate for the inclusion and promotion We are academics, advocates, researchers, dieti- of positive messages related to body image in the tians, social workers, counselors, psychologists, doc- media, school and curricula. We continue to build the tors, teachers, nurses and students. The Body Image Network and identify and build partnerships in the Network exists to promote positive body image and community. For more information please contact prevent eating disorders for all. Through education, email@example.com Public Support To help us achieve our objective we are respectfully asking the public to support our Mission : to provide improved treatment and support services for disordered eating families. To make a financial contribution to the Foundation you can; *Drop by the Foundation office *Mail a cheque or money order *Make a donation online at www.edfnl.ca
Issue 2 The Butterflyer Page 5 Centre for HOPE On June 13, 2009, the HOPE Program moved to its new location on Major’s Path. If you have a scheduled appointment booked on or after Wednesday, June 17, 2009, you will be seen at our new location The Renata Elizabeth Withers Center for HOPE 35 Major’s Path Suite 101 St. John’s, NL A1A 4Z9 T: (709) 777-2041 F: (709) 777-2042 Please note the numbers for our team will change. The new numbers as of June 13, 2009 are as follows Kelly Maloney 752-3611 Ashley Walsh 752-3612 Sarah Pegrum 752-3614 Judy Greenland 752-3616 Andrea Hann 752-3618 Nancy Rogers 752-3619 Nancy White 752-3617 Metrobus route 14 stops directly in front of the new building. Please consult with Metrobus at 722-9400 or www.metrobus.com for more detailed information. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Kelly Maloney at 777-2018 (after June 12, 752 3611) or Jeannette Piper Program Manager at 777-4101. This year August 23rd will mark our First Annual Provincial Walk of Hope. The Walk will take place in the following locations throughout our Province. Clarenville Conception Bay North Conception Bay South Corner Brook Gambo Gander Bay Labrador West New-Wes-Valley Paradise St. John’s If you would like to support our Walk at one of these locations please contact Tina at 722-0500.
Page 6 The Butterflyer Issue 2 Eating Disorder Family Support Groups Established in Corner Brook, Labrador City and St. John’s Corner Brook In November of 2008, the Eating Disorder Community Capacity Building Project was piloted in Corner Brook. One result of the Project was the identified need for additional services to both clients and their sup- ports. As such, a support group for family and friends of individuals who live with an eating disorder was established in the Spring of this year. This group named SOS (Supporting Our Selves) meets on Wednes- day evenings on a bi-weekly basis at 35 Boones Road, Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Prior to membership in the support group, individuals are required to attend a series of five educational ses- sions which are considered a prerequisite to membership in the ongoing support group. The format of the educational sessions comprise a short presentation by one of six speakers including a psychiatrist, general practitioner, occupational therapist, dietician, and social worker/psychologist (present together) who provide a general overview of their role in the treatment of eating disorders followed by questions and a general dis- cussion period. The sessions are approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours in duration. In order to maximize atten- dance, these sessions are held in the evening. Following the completion of the education sessions, partici- pants would then have the option of transitioning into the bi-weekly support group. At this time, we are accepting referrals to the educational sessions due to begin in September 2009. Indi- viduals then have the option of transitioning into the monthly support group. For information regarding reg- istration for the educational sessions, please contact: Lorraine Poole, Psychologist or Debbie Dolomount, Social Worker at: 709-634-4506. Labrador City I’m sure like the majority of people; I had a general knowledge about eating disorders. Even though I knew that there were a number of different forms, I really only thought of the emaciated young woman when I thought of eating disorders. Of course all of that changed in 2008 when my 16 year old daughter disclosed that she has had an eating disorder for approximately 4 years. This disclosure came about because she had just faced a medical cri- sis. I will never forget that sunny winter day! I guess in some ways I was finally relieved that there was something. For the previous 6 months, my girl had done what I considered a complete personality change. She went from the A student to not caring about school anymore. Her group of friends changed. I caught her in numerous lies. One Sunday morning, I was greeted with a tongue piercing. And while all of this was going on she was literally torture to live with. So, I finally had a reason and as devastated as I was about what has been happening to her body and mind, I had faith in her and that she would recover. I certainly didn’t know at the time that the road to recov- ery could be very long and winding with many dead ends. Faith is certainly a big part of my life and I truly believe that God has been watching over my dear daughter since her conception. It just so happened that a visit to Mental Health and Addictions on a Friday afternoon to see about making an appointment happened to be at a time when there was an immediate opening due to a cancellation. By the end of the day, we knew she had an eating disorder and was severely depressed. She started counseling sessions immediately and within 2 months she was entering Homewood Treatment Centre. Everything fell into place for her. I know we are extremely lucky. I also know that without the sup- port of the dedicated staff at Mental Health and Addictions our story would be much different today. I also
Issue 2 The Butterflyer Page 7 have to recognize the province for their financial contribution. Treatment programs are extremely expensive and the fact that we didn’t have to worry about paying for her treatment at Homewood was an immense worry lifted from our shoulders. One of the biggest obstacles that we have had to face is her education. She would have graduated from high school last week but because she/we chose to access the nine week treatment program at the Home- wood Treatment Centre in Guelph last year, she did not get to finish her Level II. She tried to reenter high school this past September, but that didn’t work out for her. So, she plans to go back this September. Sure she will be older than the majority of the kids but I keep reminding her that her goal is to complete high school and nothing else. She has the wisdom and maturity to accomplish whatever she puts her mind to. Now here we are a year and a bit after her disclosure and a nine week treatment program and the road isn’t quite so bumpy. Each day isn’t great and there are usually daily reminders about the illness but we all seem to have a better handle on them now. And if nothing else, I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. I attended a Family Day at Homewood last year and I have to say it was an incredible experience. There were so many days that I felt that no one knows what its like to see their child suffer with an eating disorder. But all of a sudden I was surrounded by families from all over the country talking about their own experi- ences. We laughed a lot and we cried a lot and we learned so much from the counselors and each other. I knew that I would want to start a support group at some point and last month I took the plunge. I re- searched how to go about starting a support group and when I figured I was ready, I sent out flyers to every- one I could think of. I knew that there were a few families in my area dealing with eating disorders but I had no idea if they would be interested in getting together. The first meeting had my family and another family. But that was okay. At least I wasn’t there alone. We talked for 3 hours and I do believe that when we left, we all felt a bit better. We decided to meet again in July and who knows maybe someone else will join us. I think you have to be at a certain place in your own mind before you can contribute to a group. As if starting a supporting group wasn’t enough, I decided that we also needed a community group to help our community become more aware of eating disorders. So, two days ago I organized our first community meeting. There were 8 people present representing a variety of agencies, departments and organizations. Plans were made to meet later in the month to organize our first Walk for Hope in aid of the Eating Disorder Foundation of NL. I’m very excited that I am not alone in recognizing the need to get out there and start talk- ing about eating disorders and body image. Labrador West has begun its Eating Disorder support and advocacy journey!!! Family Support Group meeting is scheduled for July 16th at 7:30 PM at the RC Basilica in Labrador City (basement entrance). Eating Disorder Community Committee meeting is scheduled for July 20th at 9:00 AM in Conference Room B at the hospital. Anyone interested in attending either of these meetings please contact Lisa at 944-9364 (before 5PM) and 944-5756 (after 5PM). St. John’s The Eating Disorder Foundation has held two very successful Families Supporting Families Information Sharing meetings and will continue this program starting again in September. The purpose of these ses- sions is to share experiences, exchange information and discuss what other family support programs are available and how best to access them. These discussions are informal and provide an excellent opportu- nity to get more involved and become better informed. We encourage Parents and Partners to attend our next meeting. The date and time for the September meeting will be posted on our website soon. For more information contact Tina 722-0500.
Page 8 The Butterflyer Issue 2 News and Events ing Renata Remember Concert of HOPE ament Golf Tourn 4th, 2009 eptember 2 e Thursday, S olf Cours Sunday, October 18th , 2009 Bally Haly G Start – Best Ball Arts & Culture Center P – Shotgun please contact Featured Performance 7:30 AM SHAR formation Masterless Men and Sh s by The For more in l @ 685-080 9 anneyganock Ted Cantwel 2-0500 in@ 72 or Tina Mart eeting upport Group m F The Eati acebook Grou Family S Labrador City t Group ng now on F Disorder Founda p in Suppor ac tio Family or City group jus ebook. If you wis n of NL is 6th at 7:30pm silica in Labrad t login an h to join July 1 the RC B a ce) profit org anization d search for us un ur o me eting at asement entran s or use the link b der non- (b elow. http://ww w.facebo ref=logo# ok y /group.ph .com/home.php? mmunit isorder Co abrador p?gid=10 1726733 Eating D Meeting in L 972 tee Commit City A Surviv ors Suc mB cess Sto nce Roo Watch fo ry in Confere r Septemb our next issue of t 9:00am hospital Ju ly 20th a at the of a loca er, as we Th will be sh e Butterflyer in ly ations a eating dis oung woman's s ring the story Present truggles areness order an w d her suc ation Aw g eat- cessful r ith an Fo und on regardin ter- ecovery. resentati is in also offers a p s. If your group on at ndation y group oundati The Fou rs to communit se contact the F Foundation Resou de a ing disor presentation ple 500. rce Library ested in a 722-0 We have an extensive library of books, periodicals, brochure s, DVDs & VHS Helpful Links tapes available for pu blic use. For more www.edfnl.ca information about th e availability of mate- www.daniellesplace.org rials, contact Tina at www.hopesgarden.org 709-722-0500 or www.jessieshope.org firstname.lastname@example.org www.hopewell.on.ca If you or someone you know need help and support dealing with an eating disorder, the Founda- tion is available and willing to help you find the support services you need. Our door is always open, drop by or call anytime. The Foundation Office is open Monday to Friday from 9AM to 4PM. ALL INFORMATION IS KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL 31 Peet Street, Suite 208, St. John's, NL, A1B3W8 Phone: 709.722.0500 Fax: 709.722.0552 www.edfnl.ca email@example.com
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