Eating Disorders Explained

An eating disorder is a serious mental health disorder identified by different levels of psychological and physical factors.

It can apply to harmful or self-defeating patterns of eating behaviour that characteristically involves preoccupation with food, weight and body image. DSM-IV is the manual used to establish and assist explanation in mental health diagnosis in clinical health settings.

It has diagnosed a variety of disordered eating including:

• Anorexia Nervosa

• Bulimia Nervosa

• Binge-Eating Disorder and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

The cause of eating disorders are intricate and have a number of possible contributing influences such as genetics, relationships, traumatic stress and individual cognition.


Eating Disorders Made Simple

Eating Disorders are more than just a problem with food. Restricting food, over eating , over exercising, use of laxatives, misuse of drugs and/or alcohol, or purging, are some of the behaviours that sufferers may use to deal with their many difficult, painful, and overwhelming thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

At TEDs, we often discuss the idea that Eating Disorders are about feelings, not food. Depression, Self Harm, OCD are common amongst sufferers. Eating Disorders do not sit alone. They are a serious medical condition, with serious physical and psychological effects.

If left untreated, the physical effects can be fatal, and sadly, Anorexia has the highest suicide rate of any other mental health condition. Sufferers and families need ongoing support. Sufferers need to be regularly monitored by their GP, and early intervention is recommended. TEDs can help you assess suicide risk for your loved one.

RECOVERY might look different for different people, but we know that Recovery IS REAL, we have seen it over and over again. You can break free of an Eating Disorder with support. Recovery is a verb, a doing thing, and at TEDs we believe that recovery is possible with the right support at the right time. There is always HOPE for change, just keep going, keep trying, and be kind to yourself always through the recovery process. Relapses do not mean failure. Through struggle comes strength, and remind yourself that to get to the top of any mountain, to see that amazing view, there are pitfalls and hurdles, there are no smooth mountain tops!

For more information about Eating Disorders;

• Check out the Eating Disorders page on the NHS website for a comprehensive yet easy to follow guide to the various kinds of Eating Disorders that exist and how they affect people from all cross sections of society.