An exploration of the lived experiences of men who have an eating disorder in the guise of anorexia or a-typical anorexia/EDNOS

Lyons, Gareth ORCID: 2018, An exploration of the lived experiences of men who have an eating disorder in the guise of anorexia or a-typical anorexia/EDNOS , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

PDF - Published Version
Download (2MB) | Preview


Background: In the United Kingdom (UK) the number of males with Eating Disorders (ED) admitted to hospital has risen by 70% since 2000. Taking account of under-reporting and misdiagnosis, men are now thought to represent 25% of those diagnosed with anorexia. To date, within academic literature, there has been a strong focus on EDs in women, perpetuating and maintaining stereotypical ideas of anorexia and the existent social stigma. Whilst there has been a plethora of quantitative studies regarding anorexia per se, with some specifically relating to men, there is a dearth of qualitative studies, with only two studies examining the experiences of men with EDs accessing services identified within the literature review. In adding to such a limited body of knowledge, this study was undertaken with the purpose of exploring the lived experiences of men who had an ED, namely anorexia, and/or an eating disorder not otherwise specified.

Methodology: Qualitative research, adopting a narrative approach was used, in order to promote the hearing of the participants’ own constructed stories. Data was collected via narrative interviews with seven men aged 23-34 years old. In the first instance narrative analysis was used for each man’s story, with thematic analysis being used to explore commonalities and difference across all seven interviews.

Findings: The interviews highlighted the need for male stories of anorexia to be researched and voiced. The men shared many background similarities, experiencing a range of negative consequences during their everyday living; from discriminatory health care, to problems with employment and isolation. Four major themes emerged from the cross-narrative analysis: (1)The final John Doe, (2)Masculinity – The beast in me; (3)Not working 9-5; and (4)Help, I need somebody – Bedlam revisited.

Conclusions: If men experiencing eating disorders are to receive appropriate and supportive health care, further research is needed to ensure better understanding and acceptance on the part of society, service providers and employers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Depositing User: GI Lyons
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 11:12
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 12:06

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year