What is an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude to food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.
If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, you might find yourself focusing on your weight excessively, making unhealthy choices around food, over-exercising or using other behaviours like purging to control your weight.
Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions. If you suspect you might be suffering from one, it’s important you get the right treatment as soon as possible.
What are the different types of eating disorders?
Eating disorders come in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones are:
Anorexia nervosa – when a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible, often by excessively restricting their eating and/or excessively exercising.
Bulimia – when a person goes through periods of binge eating and is then deliberately sick or uses laxatives to control their weight.
Binge eating disorder – when a person eats large amounts of food in a short timeframe.
Some people might be diagnosed with an eating disorder that has a mixed presentation of these symptoms which is referred to as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).
What are the symptoms of an eating disorder?
The most common symptoms of an eating disorder are:
- Negative perception of your own body
- Constant weighing yourself
- Dissatisfaction with body parts
- Food restriction
- Compulsive exercise
- Need for perfection
- Fear of being fat
- Excess eating
Treatment for eating disorders
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, depending on its type and severity, you might require a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. You are likely to be offered a psychiatric review and we will also work closely alongside your GP and a nutritionist.
There are certain circumstances in which inpatient treatment may be necessary in which case we will liaise with appropriate approved providers about your care.
Frequently asked questions
When should I get help for an eating disorder?
Which treatments are most effective for eating disorders?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Schema Therapy tend to be the most effective therapeutic approaches for eating disorders.