An eating disorder is a mental health issue in which someone experiences significant problems with their body image, and engages in behaviour which upsets their eating patterns and diet. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating are extremely widespread, and affect between 600,000 and 725,000 people in the UK. Common traits shared by those that suffer from eating disorders include perfectionism, intense self-criticism, competitiveness, a tendency for obsessive or compulsive behaviour and issues with self-confidence.
Eating disorders can occur, amongst other things, after major life changes or due to adverse childhood experiences, and they can be exacerbated by social and cultural pressures, particularly around body image. They can also be linked to stressful or traumatic events such as physical or emotional abuse. Often they are used as a means of feeling in control over an area of one’s life, and can develop in response to a sense of powerlessness in other areas.
The therapeutic setting can provide a space in which to confidentially and honestly discuss an individual’s relationship with food and with their body image, which can help them to develop an understanding of their disorder and initiate meaningful change.
If an eating disorder, or any other aspect of your mental health, is a problem personally affecting you, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the portland practice, and make an enquiry or arrange a consultation with our mental health professionals here.
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