Eating disorders

Jamie

Male
Age at interview: 19
Age at diagnosis: 14

Brief outline: Jamie was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at 14. Initially receiving counselling through CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), he struggled to be referred to appropriate adult services. Jamie stresses the importance of raising awareness of men with eating disorders.

Background: Jamie is 19 and in college. He is single and living with his parents. White British.

Audio & video

Jamie says he has had issues with eating since he was a baby. His mum had difficulty weaning him onto solids and later on he used to be a fussy eater, having problems with particular textures of food. In school, Jamie would sell his lunch and at some point started weighing himself regularly. He had no idea at all that something could be wrong until his mum took him to the GP. He was referred to an eating disorder clinic where Jamie received CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as an outpatient. 
 
The diagnosis of anorexia nervosa at the age of 14 came as a shock to Jamie. He had no previous knowledge of eating disorders and had no idea also boys could be affected. Transition from child to adult mental health services was difficult for Jamie; he was discharged at 16 but not referred to anywhere else as there were no specialist adult services in his area. He managed to source out counselling himself but he did not find it helpful. He is currently hoping to get a referral to a new outpatient service in his area. Over time, anorexia has affected Jamie’s confidence and body image and he is not always comfortable eating in public. He says he prefers to stay at home and wants to avoid any extra stress that might trigger him. Jamie says he also struggles to trust people, after being bullied at school.
 
Jamie is now working with Men Get Eating Disorders Too and B-eat to raise awareness of men & eating disorders and he wants to channel his own experiences into something positive. Jamie is in recovery but would be keen to have a bit more support to help with meal plans, for example. Jamie has always found working with animals very therapeutic; he has five cats and does voluntary work at an animal rescue centre. Jamie likes to plan ahead for the future and after finishing his degree, he hopes to find a job working with animals and one day he would like to have family and children.
 

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