This week I have done a lot research in relation to my research article project. I have shifted the focus of my research from all mental health issues for college student-athletes, which is a very broad topic to eating disorders for college student-athletes. I look to answer the questions of what physically and mentally do these athletes face every day as well as how can we treat these individuals? They face challenges every day and it is important to understand these challenges to best help the athletes.
This week I watched a short documentary about a boy who is struggling with anorexia. The film follows Charles as he finishes his treatment and meets his old classmates again after being gone for about two years. Although this film is not about a college student, Charles is 18 years old as well as I thought it was important to understand the specific challenges males may face when it comes to eating disorders. Charles was hospitalized for nearly two years and was the only male present in the unit. Charles described many of the challenges he faced prior, during, and after treatment. One of the challenges he deeply discusses is having a target weight and that fear of reaching it. After weighing in, Charles experienced a panic attack due to the pressure of weighing in and getting closer to that goal. When Charles met with his classmates for the first time in two years one of the things Charles was open about was that he didn’t realize it was an eating disorder. I believe this is because there is so much stigma around anorexia especially and the idea that men cannot experience this challenge. Although that is not true, I believe many men fail to see their struggle because they see eating disorders, especially anorexia, as a “girl’s only issue”. Moving forward with my research I believe this will be very beneficial in providing reference and insight to the minds of many men struggling with anorexia.
Radio1Newsbeat. “Anorexia: A Boy in a Girl’s World | BBC Newsbeat.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 May 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUHJOFE-JnA.