One Man's Story of Eating-Disorder Recovery

Brian Cuban, younger brother of relentless billionaire Mark Cuban, on a life of shame and rejection—and what turned it around

Brian Cuban spoke recently about being a grown man with bulimia and anorexia nervosa; about the shock it elicits when he brings up his diagnoses, and the childhood relationships and family dynamics that fostered them.

It's engaging to watch guys with Cuban-level bravado talk vulnerability. It still feels like a sort of benign violation. Cuban's story hinges on growing up in the 1960s when this sort of thing wasn't talked about, even within family, and especially not with a father. That's changing, if slowly, shiny gold pants and all.

Body dysmorphic disorder affects men and women in roughly equal numbers. Somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of people with eating disorders are men. On its website, the American Psychiatric Association lists symptoms of anorexia; the first is still "Menstrual periods cease."

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James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic. He writes the health column for the monthly magazine and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk.

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