The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shine a light on eating disorders by educating the public, spreading hope, and putting lifesaving resources into the hands of those in need.
Beat Eating Disorders estimate that around 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder.
Types of eating disorders
Anorexia is a very serious mental illness where people are of low weight due to limiting how much they eat and drink. They may develop “rules” around what they feel they can and cannot eat, as well as things like when and where they’ll eat. Anorexia can affect anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. Read More
ARFID Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, is a condition characterised by the person avoiding certain foods or types of food, having restricted intake in terms of overall amount eaten, or both. Read More
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious mental illness where people eat very large quantities of food without feeling like they’re in control of what they’re doing. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background, and evidence suggests it is more common than other eating disorders. Read more
Bulimia is a serious mental illness. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. People with bulimia are caught in a cycle of eating large quantities of food (called bingeing), and then trying to compensate for that overeating by vomiting, taking laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively (called purging). Treatment at the earliest possible opportunity gives the best chance for a fast and sustained recovery from bulimia. Read More
OSFED other specified feeding or eating disorder. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are diagnosed using a list of expected behavioural, psychological, and physical symptoms. Sometimes a person’s symptoms don’t exactly fit the expected symptoms for any of these three specific eating disorders. In that case, they might be diagnosed with an OSFED. Read More
If you think you may have an eating disorder, see a GP as soon as you can.
The GP will ask about your eating habits and how you’re feeling, plus check your overall health and weight.
They may refer you to an eating disorder specialist or team of specialists.
My Own Journey
It can be enormously overwhelming to admit you have an eating disorder. I know from personal experience that you can feel very frightened and almost embarrassed to say that an eating order has taken over your life.
I have suffered from eating disorders since I was very young. My first memory was walking to school when I was 12 and throwing my lunch away rather than be made to eat it. I would lie and say I had already eaten it, so no one would worry. Until approximately 10 years ago, I lurched from over eating and purging to eating nothing.
Ten years ago, after causing endless worry to my family, friends and work colleagues, I got help that worked. I had Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and began the road to a new existence. You can too, we all deserve to be happy and living with an eating disorder in my experience is hardly living at all. My eating disorder is still there, but now I can manage the urges. I know the trigger signs and when to get help.
You can find information about help and support at the NEDA Website
If you are suffering like I did please get help, it can change your existence.
Elssa Keegan CEO Advocacy Matters