Do you have an eating disorder? Does it affect your day to day life? Would you like help? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.
What are Eating Disorders??Eating disorders are any of a range of psychological disorders characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating habits such as anorexia nervosa. A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.Eating disorders include a range of conditions that can effect someone physically, psychologically and socially. The most common eating disorders are:
- Anorexia nervosa – when a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible; for example, by starving themselves or exercising excessively
- Bulimia – when a person goes through periods of binge eating and is then deliberately sick or uses laxatives (medication to help empty the bowels) to try to control their weight
- Binge eating disorder (BED) – when a person feels compelled to overeat large amounts of food in a short space of time
- Having a family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse
- Being criticised for their eating habits, body shape or weight
- Being overly concerned with being slim, particularly if combined with pressure to be slim from society or for a job – for example, ballet dancers, models or athletes
- Certain underlying characteristics – for example, having an obsessive personality, an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or being a perfectionist
- Particular experiences, such as sexual or emotional abuse or the death of someone special
- Difficult relationships with family members or friends
- Stressful situations – for example, problems at work, school or university
- Missing meals
- Complaining of being fat, even though they have a normal weight or are underweight
- Repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror
- Making repeated claims that they've already eaten, or they'll shortly be going out to eat somewhere else and avoiding eating at home
- Cooking big or complicated meals for other people, but eating little or none of the food themselves
- Only eating certain low-calorie foods in your presence, such as lettuce or celery
- Feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places, such as at a restaurant
- The use of "pro-anorexia" websites
Who Does It Effect?A 2015 report commissioned by Beat estimates more than 725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. Eating disorders tend to be more common in certain age groups, but they can affect people of any age. Around 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men will experience anorexia nervosa at some point. The condition usually develops around the age of 16 or 17. Bulimia is around two to three times more common than anorexia nervosa, and 90% of people with the condition are female. It usually develops around the age of 18 or 19. Binge eating affects males and females equally and usually appears later in life, between the ages of 30 and 40. As it's difficult to precisely define binge eating, it's not clear how widespread it is, but it's estimated to affect around 5% of the adult population.An eating disorder will not only effect the person suffering it will also affect their family and friends who care about them. They will be worried about you and want to help you overcome it. If they are worrying about the sufferer, they may be severely affected emotionally, physically and mentally.
More StatisticsResponsible for more loss of life than any other form of psychological illness, eating disorders are now more common than ever before. Indeed, over the last 30-40 years, instances of eating disorders have increased to become a widespread problem. Beat estimate that there are over 1.6 million people suffering from diagnosed or un-diagnosed eating disorders throughout the UK. Whilst many have been diagnosed and are receiving treatment, many more remain un-diagnosed and at risk. The deniability, secrecy and stigma associated with eating disorders will stop many seeking help, and prevent others taking responsibility to help a sufferer. Statistics for eating disorders
- 6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder
- 11% of the 1.6 million are male
- 14-25 year old's are most affected by an eating disorder
- There are up to 18 new cases of bulimia per 100,000 populations per year
- 1 in 100 women aged between 15 and 30, are affected by anorexia
- 10% of people affected by an eating disorder are anorexic
- 40% of people affected by an eating disorder are bulimic
- The rest fall into the EDNOS category including those with binge eating disorder
- Research suggests that the earlier treatment is sought, the better the sufferer’s chance of recovery
Examples of People with Stress“My Eating Disorder almost killed me. But it didn’t.” – Juliet Golden“My life has been controlled by my eating disorder (ED) for the past twenty years.” – Kimberly“Recovering from an eating disorder is no easy task. No matter how hard and no matter how long your battle, however, it is worth it.” – Sparklle Rainne“I was still the fat pig that would never get a date. Never kiss a girl. Never be included in those groups of the seemingly all good-looking, thin, or muscular kids that were getting to have those experiences.” – Brian Cuban
How Can it be Treated?If an eating disorder isn't treated, it can have a negative impact on someone's job or schoolwork, and can disrupt relationships with family members and friends. The physical effects of an eating disorder can sometimes be fatal.Treatment for eating disorders is available, although recovery can take a long time. It's important that the person affected wants to get better, and the support of family and friends is invaluable. Treatment usually involves monitoring a person's physical health while helping them deal with the underlying psychological causes. This may involve:
- Using self-help manuals and books, possibly under guidance from a therapist or another healthcare professional
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – therapy that focuses on changing how a person thinks about a situation, which in turn will affect how they act
- Interpersonal psychotherapy – a talking therapy that focuses on relationship-based issues
- dietary counselling – a talking therapy to help a person maintain a healthy diet
- Psychodynamic therapy or cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) – therapy that focuses on how a person's personality and life experiences influence their current thoughts, feelings, relationships and behaviour
- Family Therapy – therapy involving the family discussing how the eating disorder has affected them and their relationships
- Medication – for example, a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be used to treat bulimia nervosa or binge eating
- For individuals or couples
- Family referral form
- Group referral form
- In schools
- In mental health
- In general health and social care settings
- In prisons
- In hospices
- In the voluntary sector
- In private practice
The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)Integrative CounsellingIntegrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances.Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood - no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other - hence the need to integrate them.The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person's personality and needs - integrating the effective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works - tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.
Top Health Tips
- Accept & Love Yourself – Always stay positive, don’t put yourself down you are beautiful.
- Ask for Help – You need to take action, eating disorders are very serious and health threatening you need to accept you need help.
- Find a Specialist – Find a specialist in your eating disorder and seek their help & advice.
- Address Health Problems – Progress starts with accepting you have a problem and need help.
- Make a Long-term Health Plan – It is a long challenging road to overcome an eating disorder, stay strong and focusing by planning for your future.
- Call a Friend – It is always good to talk to someone and get things off your chest. Even if you don’t want to talk about your eating disorder another conversation will take your mind away from it.
- Listen to Music – Another good way to take your mind away from your troubles. Also can be used for motivation!
- Write in a Diary – This is an effective way to get things off your chest that you may not want to tell others. This can also be used to track your progression and plan ways of beating the disorder.
- Take a Walk – Take a walk to help you relax and stay calm.
- Play a Favourite Game – Another way to take your mind off things, play a game and have some enjoyment.