KSDK – Diet supplements. Plastic surgery. Celebrity bodies. It's not just women who are constantly bombarded with images of unattainable bodies.
Men also feel a pressure to attain the "perfect body" – leading to a rise in male eating disorders. A local treatment center has seen a 12 percent increase in men suffering from eating disorders, and the National Eating Disorders Association estimates that 10 million men in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder sometime in their life.
Justin Helfert is one of those men.
"You turn the channel, and every male is lean, mean and big from the waist up," Helfert said.
Manorexia – the male version of anorexia – is on the rise. And their symptoms are no different than women who suffer from the same disease.
"Same symptoms, same struggles, a lot of the same causes," said Katie Thompson, a therapist at Castlewood Treatment Center. "Men struggle with eating disorders in similar ways."
Helfert – who is 5'10" – weighed 120 pounds at his lowest.
"It went from, actually, a binging phase to a kind of purging as well as over-exercising, manorexia," he said. "It was taking over my life and I knew something had to be changed or I would be unsatisfied with the rest of my life or, god forbid, I wouldn't be living."
After 10 months at Castlewood Treatment Center, he says he's living life the right way, but he knows that many are not.
He says there's a stigma against being a man with anorexia.
"There is hope out there," he said. "It's just the leap of faith to actually step over that threshold of stigma into the real fact that males do suffer from this as well."
For more information on the Castlewood Treatment Center, go to: http://www.castlewoodtc.com/what-we-treat/male-eating-disorder-treatment-cente/