Worldwide, the incidence of male anorexia is increasing in leaps and bounds.
March 22, 2009
IT IS hard to believe to look at him now but Adam Jasiulec was bullied as a boy for being overweight.
The 23-year-old anorexic from Newcastle has spent the past eight years in his own "personal hell", with one specialist declaring him one of the most severe cases she had seen in three decades.
Adam was diagnosed with anorexia at 15 after five years of systematic bullying in various NSW schools.
At 130 kilograms and with a shy, sensitive personality, he was an easy target for his assailants - and his teachers did nothing to stop it. The bullying became so bad he would lock himself in toilet cubicles during classes and lunchtime. Soon he was skipping school, sometimes hiding behind his house all day.
When his parents divorced and he moved with his mother, Deborah, to Leeton, in country NSW, the then 13-year-old became even more isolated. He started becoming obsessed with losing weight, starting a restrictive diet and training for up to four hours a day. Within four months, he had lost 70 kilograms.
Eventually, his muscles depleted to the stage where his body was beginning to eat itself. The blood vessels under his eyes burst.
At 16 and weighing just 40 kilograms, Adam was admitted to the psychiatric ward of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
In three months he added 20 kilograms and was discharged, only to relapse immediately, due, he said, mainly to a lack of outpatient support.
A year later, he was readmitted and the pattern repeated itself, three more times.
Dissatisfied with the lack of state services available for her son and unable to afford private treatment at a cost thousands of dollars, Mrs Jasiulec moved them to Broadbeach, Queensland.
Last month, Adam collapsed and fell into a coma. He was admitted to the Gold Coast Hospital, where he spent three weeks recovering. He was discharged two weeks ago.
Adam hopes a 40-week program with a psychologist, which will begin next month, will finally see him overcome the debilitating disease. "At my stage I just really, really want to recover and beat this," Adam told The Sun-Herald on Friday.
He said he was saddened to learn of the death of his friend Catena Di Mauro to anorexia at RPA. She was 20.
"I would do absolutely anything I could to be able to help people and prevent more deaths - that, I feel, is my goal in life," he said. "And for people to be able to have the services [available] when they get out of hospital."
To read more about Adam's friend, Catena Di Mauro, please click the link below:
ANOREXIA & BULIMIA: CATENA DI MAURO, ANOTHER TRAGIC DEATH...(Updated with a comment from PAOLO DI MAURO, Catena's twin brother)