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Anorexia is often thought of as an eating disorder that affects only women, but many men also struggle with anorexia nervosa. Male anorexics experience many of the same symptoms and health effects as women do - including exhaustion, mood swings, depression, anxiety, preoccupation with weight, hair loss, social withdrawal and heart problems. Men seeking treatment for anorexia may find that the programs are geared towards women, but there are options for anorexic men as well.
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Therapy for Anorexia
Therapy is very effective in treating anorexia, in both men and women. Although professionals who treat anorexia usually work with women, they are becoming more tuned into male anorexia and how to treat it. Male anorexic patients receive the same therapy as women while in a treatment program, typically involving counseling, medical monitoring, cognitive behavioral therapy and appointments with a nutritionist.
Group therapy aimed toward men with anorexia is increasingly becoming a treatment option of choice. Specialty groups that focus on men with anorexia and the struggles that they experience are available in some areas. If there isn't a group aimed toward men in your locale, male anorexics can seek out a general support group for men and women if they feel comfortable with the idea.
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In-Patient Treatment Programs
Most in-patient treatment programs have been designed with women in mind. These programs will accept men for anorexia treatment, but the men may notice the female-geared programs. Some treatment centers now offer programs designed specifically with male anorexics in mind. In-patient programs include scheduled meals, group therapy, individual therapy, medical care and optional therapy such as music and art therapy.
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Male Anorexia Books
Although intensive treatment is recommended to recover from eating disorders, books are often very helpful to people who are on a waiting list or who only receive treatment a few times a month. Men with anorexia can look around local bookstores and explore the Internet to find books written about anorexia with men in mind. Some examples of such books include Skinny Boy: A Young Man's Battle and Triumph Over Anorexia by Gary Grahl and Boys Get Anorexia Too: Coping with Male Eating Disorders in the Family by Jenny Langley. Men with anorexia may also find that eating disorder workbooks can be genderless and helpful for recovery.
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In summary, many men may have trouble finding treatment in their area that is geared specifically toward men, so they may need to travel for treatment or attend therapy with women. Although the programs are usually designed with women in mind, they are equally as effective at treating anorexia in men and the problems that the eating disorder causes.
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Something Fishy: Eating Disorders and Men - http://www.something-fishy.org/cultural/issuesformen.php
Mirror-Mirror.org: Why are Men Anorexic? - http://www.mirror-mirror.org/why-are-men-anorexic.htm