An eating disorder is a mental health condition where people use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.  Our wellbeing team are experienced in helping many patients with these conditions. 

Unhealthy eating behaviours include eating too much or too little food or inappropriate worrying about weight or body shape. 

High profile iconic images such as sports stars,  music stars or social media icons has created a social environment where people often try to emulate of copy their heros.  Whilst anyone can get an eating disorder, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 are the most commonly affected. 

Broadly speaking there are 5 main ‘labelled’ Eating Disorders:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
    • Weight control by not eating enough food, exercising too much or doing both 
  • Bulimia
    • Losing control over food consumption and then taking drastic action to not put weight on
  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
    • Eating excessive portions of food resulting in severe discomfort
  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
    • Where eating disorder symptoms do not specifically match the expected symptoms of the other specifically defined eating disorders
  • Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) 
    • When certain foods are avoided or food intake is limited (or both) – but not driven by concern about body shape or weight

Obesity

An Eating Disorder is a psychological illness which manifests itself in a physical condition. Having an eating disorder is NOT a choice or a PASSION, it is an illness that one may need professional help to understand and work through. An eating disorder does NOT need to be for life. There is a way OUT!

Having an eating disorder can be like having a best friend and an enemy at the same time! Using food/weight is a way to cope and survive in life.  It can also help the sufferer to manage difficult emotions and experiences they may have gone through, or are currently experiencing.

The ‘voice’ of an eating disorder is usually stronger than the spirit of the client, so the empathetic support, understanding and relationship from their therapist are all essential parts of the teratment.

Those suffering with eating disorders are normally highly self-critical. It can also be a common theme that a person suffering with an eating disorder feels bewildered, chaotic and out of control. 

Therapists endeavour to create a calm, safe and reassuring environment, whilst validating the ‘whole’ of the person, in order that the  client can potentially move forward.

An eating disorder is an illness that takes over their brain as well as masquerading as an identity that assumes inside their head, which sufferers switch into without even noticing.

Denial of an eating disorder is common and can often represent a defence mechanism in which the sufferer genuinely believes they are not suffering (the eating disorder is concealing painful feelings) and that they are well. 

Eating Image

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