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Eating Disorders Awareness week is coming up next week, and aims to raise funds and awareness for those living with eating disorders. It is organised by Beat, the UK’s eating disorders charity. Beat is an organisation that provides advice lines, signposting to support services and of online tools.

About eating disorders:

There are different types of eating disorder:

  • Anorexia
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia
  • Over-eating
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorder

Eating disorders are serious and complex mental illnesses, that can cause serious harm and can sometimes be fatal.

Symptoms of eating disorders can include:

  • Limiting the amount of food eaten
  • Binge eating (eating a large amount of food at once)
  • Compensatory behaviours (getting rid of food through unhealthy means like purging or laxative misuse).

Beat estimates that around 125 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder (*). They highlight the importance of considering the network of people that can be affected. Beat, with the help of donations and fundraising, aim to support anyone affected by an eating disorder and use the awareness week to shed light on the impact it has on families and friends.

How can you help?

If you know someone affected by an eating disorder, Beat suggest simple ways you can support them:

  • Encourage them to seek treatment
  • Offer compliments that don’t relate to their physical appearance
  • Don’t be too critical of yourself
  • Be supportive and conscious of their needs during meal times

Getting support:

There are a range of approaches for the treatment and management of eating disorders and the most appropriate method will vary person to person. Like any other illness, seeking treatment as early as possible can help the recovery process (**).

At The Eaves, we have counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists who are experienced in supporting those struggling with eating problems. If you are looking for help regarding disordered eating, please contact the referrals team on 01483 917000 who would be happy to help source a suitable therapist for you.

 

References:

(*) BEAT (n.d.) How many people have an eating disorder in the UK? [online] Available at: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/how-many-people-eating-disorder-uk

(**) BEAT (n.d.) Early Invention [online] Available at: https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/recovery-information/early-intervention