Today, people from all walks of life struggle with body image issues. Social media, magazines, films, and television have the power to set unrealistic expectations for how we should look, no matter our health or body type. Many people think body image issues like body dysmorphia only affect women. However, young men can be equally affected by body dysmorphia. Like there are for young women, there are unrealistic expectations for how strong, lean, and fit young men should look. Disordered eating treatment programs for men can help men focus on positive body image and love their bodies, regardless of how they look.
If you or a young man in your life is struggling with body image issues, Red Oak Recovery® can help. Our holistic recovery plans help men ages 18-30 recover from disordered eating. Call us today at 828.382.9699 to learn more about how our disordered eating treatment for men can help you.
Is Disordered Eating Also an Eating Disorder?
Psychologists define disordered eating as an unhealthy relationship with food. According to the American Psychological Association, anorexia nervosa and bulimia are eating disorders. Eating disorders are also forms of disordered eating stemming from a distorted body image. Body image issues can manifest as conditions such as:
- Body dysmorphia: Seeing your body differently than it actually appears
- Binge eating: Eating large amounts of food in short amounts of time
- Yo-yo dieting: Often switching from diet to diet
- Food anxiety: Nervously thinking about food, anxiety during group meals
- Calorie counting: Counting calories without medical suggestion or supervision
- Fad dieting food restrictions: Keto, paleo, South Beach, and other fad diets without medical supervision
- Guilt and shame related to food: shame when or after eating
Distorted body image and preoccupation with food can be early signs of disordered eating habits. For many young men, unhealthy eating habits give them a sense of control in life. Calorie counting, exercise tracking, and restrictive diets can provide them with a false sense of control over their bodies. This need for control may come from unresolved trauma, undiagnosed mood disorders, or prolonged stress, so addressing these factors during treatment is essential.
Disordered Eating Treatment for Men
It’s common for men to overlook help for unhealthy body image or disordered eating. Because eating disorders and body image issues are assumed to affect women more than men, it can be challenging for men to know when and how to seek help. Disordered eating treatment begins with psychotherapy. Many programs combine behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) alongside alternative therapies such as:
- Wilderness therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Art therapy
- Nutritional therapy
A combination of traditional psychotherapy and alternative therapies helps men develop positive body image and resolve body image issues. Wilderness therapy, for example, can reduce stress and help men deepen their understanding of food as fuel. Engaging in therapeutic activities outdoors reduces social pressures, fear of failure, and prolonged stress.
Get the Help You Need at Red Oak Recovery®
It may come as a surprise that men need support for body image issues. If you or a man in your life needs support for negative body image, Red Oak Recovery® can help. Our experiential programs provide dual diagnosis treatment for addiction and mental health disorders. We treat disordered eating and process addictions for comprehensive treatment. With a focus on traditional and alternative individual, group, and family therapy programs, Red Oak helps clients identify and heal addiction triggers while improving communication and relationships back home.
If you’re ready to get started with disordered eating treatment, call Red Oak Recovery® today. Our staff is ready and waiting to answer your questions at 828.382.9699.