As Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to an end, it seems appropriate to dedicate this week’s blog post to eating disorders and those who experience them.
What is an eating disorder?
While it’s true that the term “eating disorder” covers the more commonly known disorder, anorexia nervosa, there are a whole host of other disorders that are less frequently discussed in the public domain. The term “eating disorder” is defined as “a range of psychological disorders characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating habits”. Currently the NHS recognise four classifications: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).
Why are eating disorders worrying?
Individuals with eating disorders will often use extreme methods to achieve control over their diet, whether it be reduced food intake, purging after eating, use of laxatives, use of medication designed for another use among many other methods. These actions are damaging to the body and can have serious long term affects and in extreme cases can lead to death.
Why can’t individuals just go and get help?
Eating disorders, as defined above, are heavily psychological illnesses. The sufferer will often not recognise that what they’re doing is dangerous and therefore will not believe that they need help. There is also the issue of what often happens when individuals seek help…
One of the most thought-provoking articles I read during this week of awareness was a petition created by Hope Virgo. In her piece, Hope began by explaining that she was previously hospitalised for, and was nearly killed by, the eating disorder, anorexia. When she relapsed in 2016, she decided to seek help for herself in the fear of ending up back in hospital, inches away from death. However, after attending a London based eating disorder unit she was told that she “wasn’t thin enough for support”. This left her feeling like the clinic viewed her as “fake” and she felt suicidal.
What needs to change?
Hope’s petition aspires to change the way in which society and the government view eating disorders. While many sufferers are at a very low weight, this doesn’t mean that all are and to wait until they reach the weight required to offer help, clinics are essentially waiting until that individual is in crisis before offering support.
How can we help?
Dr Julian offers a range of therapies for eating disorders and with zero wait times we’re here to help YOU when YOU need help. Many eating disorder sufferers have discussed the issues with talking about their bodies and body image with healthcare professionals of the opposite sex. With Dr Julian, you can choose from our list of fully qualified therapists to find a therapist that suits your needs. You can ever filter by language of therapy to receive therapy in your home tongue if it’s what you would prefer. Eating disorders are sadly becoming more common, but we hope that with greater awareness individuals will feel they can come forward and talk about their struggles. Talk to someone. Talk to us.
Read more about Hope’s Petition here: https://www.change.org/p/eating-disorders-are-not-just-about-weight-dumpthescales