Friday, February 13, 2009

One mother's mission for male anorexia awareness

I thought this was a moving video piece in the Lansing State Journal about Susan Barry's son, TJ Warschefsky, who died of anorexia Valentine's Day 2007 at the age of 22. He took his last breath while completing his nightly sit-up ritual.

One thing this video reminds me of is how insidious and powerful an eating disorder can be. Even when you have various treatment stints, parents who care and are supportive, there is still such a persistence with the illness. I don't know all the details of this particular story, but like so many others, it wasn't for lack of love or trying.

Susan Barry has now made it her mission to bring about awareness for male anorexia. She is currently writing a book, beginning a support group for parents in the Lansing area, and raising money for research through a 5K race.

I think it is important to have an advocate for males who are suffering from eating disorders. Although there is now more awareness that males too suffer from these illnesses, it is still an area of research and treatment which is lacking. Laura Collins points this out well in the piece.

I hope this advocacy for males with eating disorders continue, because in the end, eating disorders don't discriminate, and it is as much an illness of a woman's as it is a man's.


Gaining Back My Life said...

You are absolutely right. I went to HS with a wrestler who before weigh in kept a cup he would spit in, to rid his body of *any* excess water. It was so sad. I often wonder if he overcame his fear of weight.

Kara said...

It's easy to forget that males suffer from EDs also. I'm glad this mom is getting the word out!

Tiptoe said...

GBML, I think just like anything, some do overcome their disordered behavior once out of a particular activity, but for others, it gets entrenched sadly.

Kara, yep, I agree. We need other to continue to spread the message as well.

Blogking said...

My friend died of anorexia 3 months ago. She was healthy as a horse, had an amazing life, up until about a year and a half ago when she started feeling bad about her body and weight....she died at 88 pounds and I miss her every single day. I pray that this never happens to you or your loved ones. Celebrate life as much as possible!