What is disordered eating?
An eating disorder is an unhealthy attitude to food, which can eventually lead to serious illness.
Disordered eating can take many forms but some common eating disorders are:
Anorexia – limiting food intake and/or excessively exercising in order to keep your weight as low as possible
Bulimia – binge eating over a short period of time and then deliberately making yourself throw up, exercise excessively or restrict eating in order to avoid putting on weight
Binge eating disorder – when you often eat excessive portions of food all at once to the point of being uncomfortably full and then experience shame or guilt.
Some behavioural signs include: changes in eating habits, excessive exercise to lose weight, avoidance of social events if involving eating and significant weight loss or gain in a short amount of time,
Some psychological and physiological signs include: Mood shifts, social isolation, fatigue and muscle aches, insomnia, dizzy spells, irregular heartbeats and sleep apnoea.
What causes disordered eating?
There are many causes of an eating disorder and this includes:
- A family history of eating disorders
- Criticism about eating habits, body shape or weight
- Overly concerned with being slim e.g. ballet dancers or athletes
- Anxiety, low self-esteem or perfectionism
Treatment options for eating disorders
Therapy or counselling
Therapy or counselling allows you to engage with a therapist in a secure and working relationship in order to overcome the barriers that are causing the eating disorders or to create a plan about how to overcome low self-esteem.
Individual therapy provides you with the opportunity to be given support through the struggle of eating disorders and decide on an action plan for your future meals and supplements. The counsellor will take responsibility for your care to get you back on track to achieving a healthy weight and a confident mindset.