Boys get eating disorders too, just like girls

Eating disorders in boys are on the rise. In 2009 my 15-year old son developed anorexia nervosa. Now, aged 23, he is thankfully recovered from his eating disorder. My name is Bev Mattocks, my son's name is Ben and this website tells our story.

Eating disorders aren't just a 'girl thing'

Our story

Ben's struggle with anorexia began in 2009 when he was 15, but back then we had no idea that boys get eating disorders.

Books

I've written two books about eating disorders: 'Please eat' is our story and 'When Anorexia Came To Visit' tells the stories of 20 other families battling with an eating disorder.

Blog

My blog aims to raise awareness of eating disorders in boys and help parents to identify the signs of an eating disorder.

Free PDFs

Download my blog posts from 2011-2016 - much easier than clicking through the archive!

Facebook

Join my Facebook page to keep in touch and meet other parents in the eating disorder community.

My blog

AnorexiaBoyRecovery / Eating Disorders Aren't Just A Girl Thing

Back in January 2011 I began to write a blog aimed at parents of young people (and especially boys) with eating disorders. This was a time when my son was on the long road to recovery from anorexia and it describes our daily challenges along with updates on what had gone before (my son's eating disorder first became evident in the summer of 2009). I know for a fact that my AnorexiaBoyRecovery / Eating Disorders Aren't Just A Girl Thing blog has helped other parents, not just parents of boys with eating disorders, but parents of girls too. To make it easier for you to read through my blog, I've also produced some PDFs containing the blog entries from each year which you can download on this page.

AnorexiaBoyRecovery / Eating Disorders Aren't Just A Girl Thing blog

My books

Please Eat... A Mother's Struggle To Free Her Teenage Son From Anorexia

Eating disorders in boys under the age of 18 is on the rise - or at least those boys that have managed to get a diagnosis and receive treatment for their eating disorder in the UK. In 2017 there is also more awareness and understanding of eating disorders in boys, helped by charities like Men Get Eating Disorders Too, media reports and (hopefully!) my blog: AnorexiaBoyRecovery which I began writing in January 2011 a year after my son, Ben, began to receive treatment for anorexia.

But, back in 2009 when Ben began to show symptoms of anorexia, I had no idea that boys got eating disorders, so I didn't recognise the warning signs. As the parent of a teenage boy you don't expect your child to get anorexia or any another eating disorder. You don't even think about eating disorders and especially eating disorders in boys.

"When I sat down to write my book Please eat... A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia I was acutely aware that I wanted to do my bit to help other parents and carers - not only to identify the warning signs of anorexia in boys but to show that recovery from an eating disorder is possible and to describe how we got there. I also wanted to highlight the importance of early intervention for anorexia and effective treatment for boys with eating disorders.

Please Eat... A Mother's Struggle To Free Her Teenage Son From Anorexia

My books

When Anorexia Came To Visit: Families Talk About How An Eating Disorder Invaded Their Lives

As we struggled to get my son through anorexia I was supported by a wonderful online community of other parents who had been through an eating disorder - parents of girls as well as boys.

It quickly became very clear that getting your child through an eating disorder is one of the toughest and most distressing things a parent will ever face - and in When Anorexia Came To Visit: Families Talk About How An Eating Disorder Invaded Their Lives 20 of these (UK-based) families agreed to talk to me about their own experiences of dealing with an eating disorder in the family.

Of course each family's circumstances are different. Yet so much of what we have experienced is similar. Not just in terms of the warning signs of an eating disorder but in the way the illness transformed our sons and daughters into people we scarcely recognised, mentally as well as physically. And, of course, the sheer uphill struggle of trying to help them to recover from their eating disorder.

When Anorexia Came To Visit: Families Talk About How An Eating Disorder Invaded Their Lives

"I want to help parents to recognise the signs of anorexia in boys and get urgent help. I want to show that recovery from an eating disorder is possible and to describe what worked for us." Bev Mattocks