Eating Disorders

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are illnesses that are characterised by disturbed and irregular eating habits. These habits can also be coupled with severe distress or concern about body weight or shape. Often the sufferer’s perception of their body clashes with how others see them.

Consequently, this belief leads to obsessive thoughts and behaviours around food and body weight. For example, some behaviours associated with eating disorders include; withholding food, binge eating, excessive exercise or purging.

As a result, the consequences of these behaviours are serious. If left untreated over prolonged periods of time they can be potentially life-threatening. Long-term, they can have a serious effect on every organ in the body.

Eating disorders include:


  • Anorexia nervosa – believing that you are overweight, even when dangerously underweight, and engaging in behaviours to reduce weight further.
  • Bulimia nervosa – overeating followed by behaviour to compensate such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise or a combination of these.
  • Binge-eating / compulsive overeating – the loss of control of eating.
  • Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) – when your symptoms do not exactly match those of other eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder) but it does not mean it’s a less serious illness.

At The Eaves, we have specialist counsellors and psychologists who have experience helping those with eating disorders. They can work with you to understand the root causes of your illness and support you as you work towards taking back control of your life.

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While it is unclear why exactly someone develops an eating disorder, some people
believe they stem from social pressures to be thin caused by social media and fashion
magazines. Other believe eating disorders are a way to feel in control. Most specialists
believe that eating disorders develop because of a combination of psychological,
environmental and genetic factors

Individuals will attempt to manage their eating disorder in different ways. Here are some
examples of common things to look out for that might indicate someone is struggling
and may need additional help; significant weight loss, preoccupation with food, recent
changes in food preferences, avoiding meal times or refusal to eat with others,
excessive exercising, excessive monitoring of weight, exercise or calories, hiding food,
self-induced vomiting, wearing loose or bulky clothing, lying about food intake

Through a combination of therapy, nutritional education and medical treatment, the
symptoms of an eating disorder can be managed or eliminated.