Eating disorders are where there is a significant disturbance in the way that someone deals with food, weight and body image. There are three main types of eating disorders:
This is where a person has a strong fear or disgust of putting on weight. Often sufferers will restrict their food intake, may use laxatives or exercise intensely until their weight is at an unhealthy level.The results of anorexia can be detrimental to both the physical and psychological health of the sufferer. Often food and weight become one of the most important aspects in a sufferers life with consequences to both oneself and friends and family.
Bulimia often has cycles of binge eating, which is often down in secret, and feelings of guilt or shame at the food that has been eaten and so find ways to get rid of the food. This can be vomiting, laxatives, over exercising or periods of starvation
Suffers of binge eating often eat vast amounts in one sitting and feel a loss of control over their eating pattern. This disorder is different to bulimia nervosa as often sufferers do not vomit or purge their bodies, instead sit with their guilt over the amount of food that has been consumed.
Treatments for Eating Disorders
Many people suffering from an eating disorder can be helped by a psychologist or psychotherapist who has worked or trained with eating disorders, however as Anorexia has thre highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders it is important that if someone's weight drops rapidly or they have a BMI of under 17.5 that they are monitored by a medical professional either a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in Eating Disorders or the patient's GP.
In addition to helping people to put on necessary weight, help to stop them from purging food or to help stop them from entering into cylces of binging the psychological work often looksd at the underlying reasons for why there is an eating disorder in the first place There can be many different reasons from abuse in the patient's past through to the amount of pressure to look a certain way which is influenced by the media. Body image is often a large issue for anyone suffering with an eating disorder and alongside the work of the eating disorder team will often be education and work on understanding their body image. Self esteem also plays a part in why people may develop an eating disorder. Working on how someone views themselves as a person can be an important work of counselling and psychological treatment as well as looking at their confidence and interactions with friends and family.
For those who are extremley underweight
For patients who are at immediate medical risk from their eating disorder we can arrange for their treatment to be conducted at a local private hospital who specialises in Eating Disorders. If urgent we can usually arrange for an admissionw within 24 hours. For those patients who recieve their treament in an eating disorder unit would have access, if appropriate, to a dietician, Consultant Psychiatrist, nursing team and a psychological programme tailored for those suffering from eating disorders.