For 40-plus years the author battled with attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that are commonly labeled as symptoms of three psychological disorders: muscle dysmorphia, orthorexia, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). The consequences were grave. This book explains Stuart’s struggles and self-inquiry, and then describes the five elements of his psychological healing. Each element helped him, but their synergism profoundly improved his mental health, his relationships, his physical health, and his overall life.
This book isn’t targeted only at male bodybuilders and other exercise enthusiasts. The great difficulties Stuart dealt with are experienced by millions of men and women who struggle with their body-image and/or eating, and/or who are tormented by perfectionism or workaholism. His success story may inspire any of those people to start their own self-inquiries that lead to their own success stories.
This is Stuart, author of A MAN DEVOURED BY HIS BODY, FOOD & WORK. I have a story to tell only because I survived my mental torment, recognized I had a serious problem, sought help, and turned my life around.
Men are less likely to admit to mental health problems than women. And men are also less likely to take action to help themselves. Women outnumber men among therapy and counseling clients.
With the right therapy, those with mental health problems can cope and lead rewarding lives. I experienced the therapy myself with great success. But it had nothing to do with psychiatric drugs and institutions. (I’ve never taken psychiatric drugs, and nor was I ever prescribed any.) There were five elements of my overall therapy and healing. The first was talk therapy with a properly trained and licensed therapist. This book includes my session notes—a real-life case study. What I learned from some influential books led to three other elements of my overall therapy and healing. And the self-therapy from writing this book—writing therapy, or expressive therapy, or writing cure—was another element that contributed to my overall progress.
I was (and still am) a highly involved participant in my overall therapy. My self-inquiry produced self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-understanding and healing, which enabled me to take true control of myself.
This book details the five elements of my psychological self-care. Each helped me, but their synergism profoundly changed me for the better.
My journey may especially resonate with readers who have problems related to body-image issues, food, or “perfectionism” and/or “workaholism.” Of course, each reader has travelled a unique path with a particular background, which I can never know. But perhaps through reading my story, readers may be inspired to start their own self-inquiries that bring about their own realizations, self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-understanding, and healing. The particular process that worked for me may not work for others, but my story may help others find the processes that work for them.
I’m writing primarily to men, including young men in their teens. But many women also have mental health problems and may benefit from reading my story.