This section provides information for individuals who think that they may be suffering from an eating disorder. Sometimes it can be confusing and frightening when a problem with eating arises, and you may not know what to do or who to turn to.
Eating disorders can affect people at any age, from any background, and of any gender. Eating disorders can take many forms, and sometimes the individual may feel uncertain about whether they are suffering from an eating disorder or not. Here, we describe some of the common symptoms that individuals experience. For many people, these symptoms are treatable, and there is much support available to you.
One of the common symptoms of an eating disorder is a desire and attempt to actively reduce the amount of food that you are eating. Some individuals cut down their dietary intake or restrict the types of food that they are eating. This can, in some cases, lead to weight loss. For some people, dietary restriction can also be accompanied by episodes of overeating; often referred to as ‘binge eating’. This type of eating can feel out of your control, and often people will consume a large amount of food during a short period of time. Some people with eating disorders will binge eat frequently, which can lead to weight gain.
Other symptoms of an eating disorder can include a desire to exercise in a driven manner, taking laxatives, diet pills or diuretics, and/or making yourself sick after eating. These symptoms are know as ‘compensatory behaviours’, as they are sometimes used to ‘compensate’ for food that has been eaten, as a means of trying to control weight.
Some people with eating disorders experience these symptoms because they have concerns about their weight and shape. Other people may also find that they develop these symptoms in order to help them to manage difficult emotions, such as sadness or anger.
If you recognise that you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, then you may be suffering from an eating disorder. If you are experiencing other problems with your eating, that are not mentioned here, please do contact us and we can provide you with clarity about whether our treatments may be helpful to you. Whatever your symptoms, please know, that there is help available, and many people are able to recover from their eating disorder and resume a healthier relationship with food and eating.