WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS:
Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that can be caused by genetic, psychological, environmental, social and biological influences. Some eating disorders are displayed when a person may use food to manage their feelings, eating either too little or too much food and they may become obsessed with their eating patterns. This is an example of an unhealthy relationship with food. Some people may even experience more than one kind of eating disorder, just like how some people with eating disorders may also experience mental or physical health issues. There is no one reason for eating disorders the same as there is no one treatment. If you think you may have an eating disorder then don’t worry, you're not alone, it's estimated over 725,000 people in the UK are experiencing an eating disorder right now.
HOW TO TELL:
There are various different symptoms of eating disorders depending on which eating disorder you may have. Some symptoms may include:
Eating when you're not hungry
Loss of appetite
Becoming obsessed with your body and weight (eg. Thinking you're too fat when others say you're too thin)
Feeling sick from being uncomfortably full
Being afraid of gaining weight
Experiencing a sudden weight gain or loss
WHO CAN BE AFFECTED:
Whilst most common in females aged 12-20 anyone can develop eating disorders; most eating disorders are seen during ages 12-20, figures could be higher in males, older or cultural minorities, however people are less likely to come forward.
Common types of Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and OSFED
Anorexia is when a mental illness that makes people want to keep their weight as low as possible, making them think they are overweight and become obsessive with losing weight. Anorexia limits a person’s energy intake which is how they lose weight, if a person combines this with a lot of exercise to burn off the calories they have consumed.
Bulimia is a mental illness that makes people hate the idea of gaining weight. Often people suffering from Bulimia will binge eat lots of food then they will either be sick, fast, over exercise or take laxatives to stop them putting any weight from.
Binge Eating Disorder:
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a mental illness where a person loses control, eating large quantities of food on a regular basis in a short period of time. A person will find it difficult to stop eating, causing a lot of distress. A person suffering from BED may struggle to remember when they have last eaten and feel isolated.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OFSED):
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders is when a person displays symptoms of an eating disorder, without matching the expected symptoms of Anorexia, Bulimia or BED. Some people may have a mixture of symptoms from all three.
Speak to friends and family about your concerns, choose the people you trust to get the best support. Opening up about your concerns will help you feel like a burden has been lifted.
Try and speak to your GP to get specialist advice. Don’t take advice from random websites get your support and advice from legitimate sources.
Try and keep a diary to monitor your eating habits, hopefully this will help you identify your triggers and also help you monitor your emotions too.