This week is a conversation about boys, body image, and eating disorders. I’m excited to bring back to the show Clinical Psychologist Dr Roberto Olivardia for this important and often overlooked topic. Roberto last spoke with us about sleep challenges with ADHD, but he also specializes in the treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, ADHD, and OCD,  and is a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of eating disorders in boys and men. His book, The Adonis Complex, is the first book of its kind to detail the various manifestations of body image problems in males. 

This is one of those thoughtful conversations on a complex and nuanced issue that is still deeply rooted in stigma and shame. I appreciate so much the sensitivity and humanizing approach Roberto brings to this topic, raising the awareness of the need to understand both the commonalities and differences between genders when it comes to body image and eating disorders. Also, while we focus mainly on cisgender males, we touch on nonbinary gender considerations as well. We cover a lot of ground— detailing the manifestations of eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder in males, the particular impacts of ADHD and other neuro-differences, as well as warning signs for parents to look out for, and do’s and don’ts. 

 

About Dr. Olivardia: Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He is a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of eating disorders in boys and men. He is co-author of The Adonis Complex, the first book of its kind which details the various manifestations of body image problems in males. He has spoken on numerous podcasts and webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country. He currently sits on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD) and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA). He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude and is a Featured Expert for Understood.

 

THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • How Dr. Olivardia got involved in researching and treating eating disorders and body image problems in boys and men
  • What is meant by “The Adonis Complex” 
  • What is the prevalence of these problems in boys and men
  • In what ways are differently wired boys susceptible to body image issues or eating disorders
  • How media imagery affects boys’ body image and in what way does social media have an impact
  • What are the different manifestations of eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder in boys and men, and how do they differ
  • What should parents look out for and do if they suspect their son has an eating disorder or body image issues

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED: 

 

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