Eating Disorders

What are the different types of eating disorder?

There are three main types of eating disorders in adults:

  1. Anorexia nervosa. Characterised by a bodyweight that is less than what would be expected given someone’s age, height etc. Sufferers tend to restrict their eating due to concerns about their weight and shape (such as a fear of weight gain) and lose weight.
  2. Bulimia nervosa. Characterised by regular binge eating followed by “compensatory behaviours” like vomiting, exercising, and restricting one’s eating and are an attempt to prevent weight gain.
  3. Binge-eating disorder. Characterised by Individuals by binge eating (as in bulimia nervosa) but without compensatory behaviours. Binge eating often occurs in secret and is associated with significant distress. More in depth on binge eating disorder.

Childrens eating disorders can present with the problems described above but can show slightly different symptoms such as failure to reach growth targets or difficulty describing a “loss of control”.

How are eating disorders diagnosed?

In some cases, problems with eating can be caused by other conditions – either psychological or physical – or by some medications.  One aim of the assessment is to ensure that you are offered the most appropriate treatment.

What Questions Will Be Asked During The Assessment

  • Your current eating habits and how they developed
  • Your current life circumstances
  • Screening for other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and phobias.
  • These will be done through a mixture of conversation and questionnaires.
  • Your physical health. Conditions such as diabetes can often occur alongside eating disorders and may require particular management.

The Impact Of The Media

Every day we are bombarded with endless, often contradictory messages about what we eat, how we eat, and what we ‘should’ look like. Too fat, too skinny, lose weight, gain weight, fad diets, change your body, be proud of your body, treat yourself, detox yourself, eat 5 fruit-and-veg-a-day, 2-wholegrains-a-day, 2-oily-fish-a-week.

It’s no wonder that around 5% of the population will develop some kind of eating disorder at some point. But many people will find themselves asking ‘What are eating disorders? Often, people with eating problems feel shame about their symptoms, and this can be a barrier to seeking help.  However, many people who receive treatment make a lasting recovery and see great improvements across all aspects of their mental and physical health.

What is the treatment for Eating Disorders?

Most psychological treatments for eating problems focus on disrupting the factors and habits behind it.  This might include looking at eating patterns, reducing unhealthy body checking, and dietary rules.

Eating disorders can take a number of forms, but refer to an individual with an unhealthy attitude to food. This may result in them eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with weight or diet. Eating disorders may include anorexia nervosa, bulimia or binge eating and can affect both males and females of any age. For more information and details of how we can help please get in touch >

Therapists For Eating Disorders Anorexia

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