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Self-esteem was very poor, but the eating disorder was something I managed. I was clever at how to do an eating disorder.

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This is how begins in an article about Andreas (21), who was fifteen years old when he developed anorexia. KK writes:

The dark numbers for boys with eating disorders are large according to the interest organization Advice on Eating Disorders (ROS).

It is more taboo and shameful to stand up for boys than for girls.

The article tells Andreas' story. He says that the eating disorder crept in during 10th grade, but that it took time to understand what was about to happen. He explains how it is like to have an eating disorder:

It's like a monster taking over your body and you'll be devoured by the eating disorder.

It can feel like it is taking control of you and controlling what is right and wrong. If you have eaten something that is not right - then comes the anxiety and panic. 

His mother tells KK:

It gradually went downhill and then he suddenly stopped eating. I was afraid he was going to die. I felt so helpless - and angry. The fear you have makes you angry.

I tried to persuade him to eat, but never forced him. He became completely powerless, I had to support him in the bathroom, he did not have the strength to carry his own body. That was when I thought that we can not do this alone, we need help

However, the road to recovery was long, and much longer than they could foresee. Andreas' mother tells about this:

I have thought afterwards that if someone had told me that it would take five, six years to get well - I had not thought it could take that long. Living with a child with a mental illness like this - there are many downs and few ups. Planning is not possible, you live from day to day - everyone nearby is controlled by the disease.

He is asked what made him finally recover, and Andreas answers:

I wanted to get well. You have to - you have to want it with all your heart. When I was admitted for the first time, I did it mostly for the sake of others. You must dare to be in pain, dare to stand in it. It hurts, it takes time.

Openness to me has been important throughout. I've talked about it and met understanding. That is to say: no one can fully understand it if you have not been there yourself, but acceptance and my family, it has been absolutely invaluable.

Not least, the fight to get a healthier self-image is crucial in recovery. Andreas sums up how he notices that he has now recovered from the illness:

I can somehow live with the fact that not everything is completely perfect. You must not perform all the time - you are good enough as you are - and those around you love you anyway.



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