What is an eating disorder?
There are a number of conditions that are classed as an Eating Disorder that can affect a person not only physically, but mentally and socially.
The most common include Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) or Atypical Eating Disorder.
Eating Disorders are often blamed on the social pressure to be thin, as young people in particular feel they should look a certain way. However, the causes are usually more complex. There may be some biological factors, combined with an experience that may provoke the disorder, plus other factors that encourage the condition to continue. They are often a way of coping with feelings that are making you unhappy or depressed. An Eating Disorder is a sign that you need help in coping with life, and sorting personal problems.
Over 725,000 men and women in the UK are affected by Eating Disorders and the Disorder claims more lives than any other mental illness – one in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely from the physical consequences or suicide.
However, although a serious illness, Eating Disorders are treatable conditions and many people make a full recovery.
For more information on the types of Eating Disorders and how to support someone you think is at risk you can go to the UK’s eating disorder charity, Beat: www.b-eat.co.uk