eating disorders

Freddie Flintoff Faces His Bulimia And Male Eating Disorders In New BBC Documentary

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I have not worked a lot with eating disorder, but I have encountered it. Eating disorders in males is often overlooked, and more knowledge about it is needed. BBC has now made a documentary focusing on eating disorders in men.

In a new BBC documentary Cricketer, Andrew Flintoff MBE will seek to understand the causes and impact of bulimia on his life, and why eating disorders in general are so hidden in men.He will meet experts and male sufferers and aim to return home with a new understanding of what it means to be a man with an eating disorder. Freddie is the cricket all-rounder who became one of Britain’s best-loved sporting heroes before forging an equally successful career on screen, most notably as a presenter of Top Gear. But Freddie hasn’t always coped well with the demands of life in the public eye.

As a new recruit to the England side in 2001, under constant scrutiny from fans, the press and his colleagues, Flintoff felt pressure to keep his weight down. It was an obsession that soon evolved into full-blown bulimia as he tried to keep up with his slimmer, fitter teammates. What started as a quick fix solution soon spiralled into something he battled with through his entire career and which he hasn’t fully dealt with to this day.

Up to one in four people living with bulimia are men. Their numbers have more than doubled in the last decade – but it is estimated that only 10% seek professional help for this devastating illness.

Freddie says: “If this resonates with one person watching, or through this we can show someone that there is help out there, then this is worth doing.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: “I would like to thank Freddie for opening up about his struggle with bulimia in this very personal film for BBC One. I hope this film will raise awareness about a subject that is all too often a taboo and make a difference to the way men talk about mental health.”

The documentary is part of the BBC’s ongoing commitment to mental health.

The sound of phantoms

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When I was in New York, I saw phantom of the opera on broadway. It made a lasting impression, especially the part when the main characters went to the underworld.

Right now I am Reading about eating disorders. The book is by two Norwegian therapists, that use art in the treatment of patients. They Write about how symbols and metaphors, can help therapists and patients With communicating when words alone is not enough. Art can be everything. The Authors say that living is an art, and I agree. For me art can be Music, too. The phantom of the opera tells a story of falling in love, and going too far With it. We have all been in the underworld, but hopefully not made it our homes.

Fra kokong til sommerfugl – Bokelskere

In the book, the underworld is described as a cellar. When patients With eating disorders Draw their “personal houses” they Draw dark cellars. Sometimes the house is made of glass, showing their vulnerability and feeling of being locked in. Sometimes the walls are steel, and sometimes brittle crystal that can break easily. Sometimes there aren`t any safe rooms.

In therapy they learn to make their own rooms, and find their own keys so they can be there without interruptions. That way, they can feel safe even if the other rooms are dark and dangerous.

We can be in the dark, but we can also see light. We can transform and become butterflies no matter how small and ugly we feel. We can og to the underworld, and come back.