Most people think about what they eat and varying and experimenting with diets is not uncommon. However Eating Disorders occur when people’s eating habits begin to threaten their health or influence day to day decisions.
Eating Disorders can happen to anyone and for a variety of reasons, including stress, low self-esteem and emotional problems. These can lead to people making choices about food which damage their health.
Although anyone can experience an eating disorder, certain factors can make people more likely to be at risk, including having an obsessive personality, experiences of abuse, a family history of eating disorders or experiencing stressful situations.
Eating disorders can occur as food is something that people can control, during times when then may feel they don’t have control over other aspects of their life.
Common Eating Disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
Common Experiences of Eating Disorders
- Worrying about losing control over what you’re eating.
- Controlling your eating habits to the extent they impact on your family and social life, work and studies, what you would calls as your normal life activities.
- Being secretive about food and eating.
- Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight in a three month period.
- Skewed body image, for example believing you’re fat, despite evidence to show otherwise.
- Rigid rules around food and eating and what would be considered odd behaviours around food, for example only eating at certain times.
- Binging on and purging food, for example through vomiting, exercising or using laxatives.
“My eating disorder has had some huge impacts on my life, the main one being that I had a heart attack. I have isolated myself from everyone, I lost family and friends."
"I have a lot of damage done to my internal organs, which is only just getting better now, I also have bad nerve damage in my legs."
"I think people glamorise eating disorders and don’t realise how serious they are. A lot of people think it is all about diets and how you look, but it is so much more than that."
- Tommy Kelly