What is an eating disorder?
An eating disorder is an illness characterised by unusual, disrupted, and erratic eating habits. Common disorders could be overeating, eating too little, or eating normally but interrupted by episodes of purging, binging or ingesting non-foods.
These habits can result from distress or concern about body weight or shape. Often the sufferer strongly believes they have a defect in their appearance, making them feel ugly or unhappy. But these behaviours can be serious, affecting every major organ in the body. Without treatment, they could potentially become life-threatening.
If you’re experiencing this, it can be difficult to express your feelings. You might feel isolated, that you can’t talk to anyone, guilty, angry, or frustrated. There may even be times when eating can feel like keeping a secret from those closest to you.
Types of eating disorders
Eating disorders mainly affect teenagers and young people but can affect anyone. The three most common types of eating disorders are:
- Anorexia Nervosa (Anorexia): Thinking you’re overweight, even though you may be underweight, and trying to keep your weight as low as possible by under-eating.
- Bulimia Nervosa (Bulimia): Overeating followed by making yourself sick, taking laxatives, overexercising, fasting or a combination of each.
- Binge Eating: An overwhelming desire to overeat large quantities of food, leaving you uncomfortably full and feeling ashamed or guilty afterwards.
Symptoms and warning signs for these eating disorders can include:
- A noticeable change in weight
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Sleeping problems
- Digestive problems or abdominal pain
- Excessive checking of food’s nutritional value, calories, carbs etc.
- Avoiding eating in front of others
Eating disorder counselling
Getting help as soon as possible is crucial if you suffer from an eating disorder. But admitting you have an eating disorder and asking for help is a big step. And while that can be a challenging step to take, it gives you a better chance of making a full recovery.
At Devon Therapy Services, we have specialist counsellors and psychotherapists who have experience in helping people with any eating disorder. Working with you in a safe and non-judgmental environment, they’ll help you understand the root causes and give you the support you need to overcome your disorder.
Our counselling and therapy sessions can cover:
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