Do you think you have an Eating Disorder?

Are you worried you may have an eating disorder or do you have a loved one you are worried about? Read on for signs and advice on what to do next.

Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.

They can affect all types of people at all stages of life and are more common than you think with 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men suffering from anorexia nervosa. Bulimia is 5 times more common than anorexia and 90% of sufferers are female. Binge eating usually occurs later in life affecting both men and women.

Eating disorders often occur out of the need for a person to feel in control of life or as a reaction to stress or a bad experience in life. They can be a way of coping with feelings that are making you unhappy or depressed. It may be difficult to face up to and talk about, feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, loss or fear.

Common Signs:

  •  Severe weight loss
  • Periods stopping
  • Feeling disastified with your weight and body shape
  • Having a fear of gaining weight
  • Becoming obsessed with calories adn what you eat
  • Thinking about food all the time
  • Feeling guilty after eating
  • Excessive exercising
  • Being sick after eating
  • being secretive about food and not wanting to eat with others.
  • Feeling out of control and eating large amounts of food in one go

If you feel you or a loved one may have an eating disorder the best place to go to get help is your GP, they can signpost you to your local eating disorder services and give you initial advice and support. It can be hard to admit you have a problem, but think about how much better life would be if you didn’t have to worry about your eating.

If you have a close friend you trust maybe try talking to them about how you feel, talking about it can be very therapeutic. Recovery is a step by step process that takes time and usually involves psychological help as well as input from a specialist dietitian with experience in eating disorders.

The Beat website is also a great place to get good information.

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