Eating disorders are mental and emotional illnesses that get worse over time, They have serious medical and psychological consequences, and have the highest level of fatalities of all psychiatric conditions. The effects of starving the body of food, binge eating and compulsively induced vomiting, use of laxatives/ diuretics, diet pills and over exercising have profound physical and psychological consequences and as such early detection and treatment can be vital in minimising the longer term effects. While ED’s are most common in women, men also suffer and may be more reluctant to seek advice and support. Disordered eating is a sign that something is wrong. It is a symptom of deeper problems and often an attempt at regaining control and / or diminishing painful feelings.
Whether it is self starving, fear of food and fear of being fat (Anorexia Nervosa); self induced vomiting, excess laxative or diurectic use (Bulimia Nervosa), exercise addiction, Body Dysmorphia or a combination. It becomes a way of life and ends up controlling you.
Professional help can help you to find your way out.
Eating disorder work can be medium to longer term with continued sessions at regular intervals for up to a year and sometimes longer depending on how severe the problem is.
Signs of Binge Eating: Eating large amounts of food in secret, when not hungry and carrying on past the feeling of fullness, yo yo dieting, hiding food or empty containers of food
Signs of Bulimia A distorted sense of body image despite being at normal weight, Binge Eating and/or inducing vomiting, feeling guilty, ashamed or depressed after eating, looking for food when everyone is asleep or wanting to eat in private. Putting on the radio in the bathroom to disguise sounds of vomiting, appearing anxious straight after a meal.
Signs of Anorexia Obsessing about calories, weight and body image, expressing panic at being normal weight, refusal to eat or eating very minimal amounts, body mass index of less than 18.5.
Compulsive overeating Feeling out of control with food and regularly eating beyond saitey. Often there is a history of yo-yo dieting (losing and gaining weight) and reduced mobility with feelings of shame about the situation.
Here is a 10 minute excerpt of a documentary I took part in a few years ago which was shown on Sky TV about women who are a size zero. This part shows Kelly struggling with an eating disorder and how difficult it is for her and her boyfriend Hugo. It shows a small sample of the work I started with Kelly as well as a short interview.