What is an Eating Disorder?
Disordered eating and body image concerns are on the rise, believed to affect 1 in 5. This is hardly surprising as we are exposed to conflicting information about food and health on a daily basis. Furthermore, in a visually driven world, we are continuously bombarded with expectations of how to be, based largely on appearance alone. In an attempt to fit the stereotypes, we are prepared to push our bodies to breaking point.
My approach to treatment
I believe that the causes for the development of an eating disorder are as diverse as the individuals seeking treatment. Frequently the eating disorder is the outward manifestation of deeper emotional unease. Anxiety about access to treatment and long waiting lists only further increase the individual’s and their families emotional, academic and financial stresses. Research consistently shows that early identification and prompt treatment is all important for a speedy recovery, before the illness becomes more entrenched and treatment resistant. I therefore make it a priority to see patients when they first present with eating difficulty, even if they do not meet the strict medical criteria for diagnosis. My approach to treatment is a very individual one, reflecting your specific needs and concerns.
The ultimate goal of eating disorder treatment is to develop a healthy, non-obsessive relationship with food and your body.
Most common eating disorders:
Anorexia Nervosa - is marked by an extreme fear of becoming "fat", associated with a distorted body image. It focuses on starving the body to the point of serious ill-health and sometimes death. It is frequently co-morbid with other mental illnesses including; depression, anxiety and/or an addiction.
Bulimia Nervosa - is described as an obsessive desire to lose weight; characterised by bouts of extreme over-eating (often up to 3-4 times the recommended amount). These binges are then compensated for by: severe fasting, self-induced vomiting, taking of laxatives and over-exercising.
Binge Eating Disorder - a 'binge' is characterised by an episode of eating during which an objectively large amount of food is eaten, with the complete loss of control whilst eating it.
EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) - a person with EDNOS may present with many of the symptoms of other eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia but may not meet the specific criteria for these disorders
Othorexia - displays symptoms of obsessive behaviour in pursuit of a healthy diet. A person with Othorexia is Obsessed with defining and maintaining the perfect diet rather than an ideal weight.