CASE STUDY: THE JOE DOE MALE ANOREXIC

I need to write a Joe Doe story about the “typical male anorexic”

 

In terms of other findings, we can build up a “photo fit” of a typical male with anorexia, which may in some ways be used as a guide to create a stereotypical anorexic man. He is between 15-20 years old at the age of onset of the illness; however, it is unclear if this is the age he is classified by the medical community or the age he identifies when his behaviour started. He was at some point before onset overweight, and his anorexic goal is to lose weight to become more “toned/muscular/athletic”, as opposed to a female whose goal is to achieve thinness. As well as restricting food, his favoured method of ridding himself of calories is by way of excessive exercise, although rarer, other forms of purging may also be used with vomiting being much more favoured than laxative abuse.

Within his family background it is likely that there is a history of weight or/and mental health problems. Although a high statistical number of men with anorexia are homosexual, four out of five men with anorexia are actually heterosexual. Although heterosexual, he is likely to have problems with his ability to form relationships (platonic and sexual) and as a result is likely to be sexually inexperienced, although his prognosis is much better if before onset he has been sexually active.

In terms of his psychological profile the evidence from available research is a little “cloudier”. In terms of his own feelings about himself, words such as “insecure”, “worthless” and “inadequate” are common, as well as a belief that he lacks control in his life. The possibility of co-morbidity with another mental illness is likely. In terms of psychological traits Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) like tendencies, difficulty with decision making, impulsivity and/or immaturity are likely to manifest. He will show more anti-social behaviour than his female counterpart in terms of lower levels of approval seeking and more bouts of rage, as well as being less compliant and cooperative.