Bam Margera reveals his struggles with bulimia and alcoholism
Bam Margera doesn’t seem like the most likely person to talk openly about his experiences being bulimic, but in a recent episode of Viceland’s Epicly Later’d the skateboarder and Jackass shared how his rock star lifestyle spiraled into issues with addiction and an eating disorder.
Before his rise to fame on MTV, Bam drank occasionally. However, he says he “didn’t officially start drinking until maybe 24 or 25” – right as Jackass was starting to take off. “Then the rock star life and drinking spun out of control.”
His mother, April Margera believes the pressures from television and his friendship with waifish rocker Ville Valo encouraged Bam to start taking his behaviors further and further until he was drinking excessively and vomiting after meals.
“When you’re on camera a lot, people have a lot to say. He always wanted to have this very slim, slim look and a lot of it kind of happened when he became good friends with Ville Valo,” she said. “[Ville] is the loveliest man ever, but he never ate, he just drank. I think Bam started sipping on a beer or sipping on a something because he like the way he looked.”
“We would go out to dinner and then he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom,” she continued. “I said, ‘Are you throwing up?’ He says, ‘Yeah, yeah, sometimes I throw up and that way I’m not gonna get fat.’”
Margera recalls how Valo introduced him to day drinking early in their friendship.
“I remember when me and Ville Valo were out in London and we woke up at noon, opened the mini bar and cracked open a beer. That was the first time I was introduced to day drinking,” he said.
Despite his struggles, Bam is committed to recovering. He’s since managed to overcome his struggles with bulimia, though he admits he is still working towards sobriety. His health has recovered significantly, he’s getting back on the skateboard, and he announced on the show that he is expecting his first child with his wife Nikki.
Unfortunately, April Margera – who was prominently featured in her son’s show. Viva La Bam – says not everyone has been as supportive of Bam’s recovery.
“It really hurts me when people make comments like, ‘You look like you gained some weight there. Hey, wow, Bam… you’re looking like your dad,’” April said. “I don’t respond, but I feel like saying, ‘He was drinking alcohol and he was bulimic and that’s why he was thin.’”
While Bam might not look like the textbook picture of an eating disorder, his story is more common than you might think. The practice of avoiding eating in order to stay thin while drinking heavily is so popular it has gained the nickname “drunkorexia”. It’s particularly common on college campuses, where students frequently struggle with body image issues and binge drinking is romanticized.
If you are living with an eating disorder or addiction, give Brookhaven a call at (888) 298-4673. We can answer any questions you have and help you find the best treatment plan for you.