For weeks or months,
They didn’t know,
Just quite what could be wrong.
If he’d been a girl, of course,
It wouldn’t take so long.
To come to a conclusion
About why he seemed to shrink,
But as a boy, this illness
Was the last thing that they’d think
To test for – no one asked him,
Why he seemed to fade away,
They just took bloods and poked him,
Could be viral? They would say.
And all the time he starved himself,
And dark thoughts ruled his mind.
This half-life he was living
Made him feel deaf and blind,
To the world that lived around him,
Folks that didn’t know his name.
His name was anorexia,
Or at least that was his game.
A daily game that tortured him
And played him like a toy,
They didn’t help,
They didn’t know
It could happen to a boy.
As part of eating disorders awareness week, I thought it was important to write a poem to raise awareness of the fact that boys getting eating disorders too. About one in ten diagnosed cases of anorexia is a boy – and community studies (which look at whole populations rather than just those people who end up in treatment) suggest that up to one third of eating disorders sufferers may be male. It’s important that we recognise that boys can be affected as well as girls as otherwise this can delay the appropriate support being given. Many male eating disorders sufferers don’t seek help because they don’t believe they could have an eating disorder.
The following sites provide further information about eating disorders in males:
You can read all of my eating disorders poems here.