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Eating Disorder Awareness Week – 27 February – 5 March

Eating Disorder Awareness Week is between 27 February and 5 March. The aim of Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to raise awareness of Eating Disorders and start conversations. The theme in 2023 is “Yes, men get eating disorders too”.

According to Beat:

Around 1 in 4 people with eating disorders are men. And yet in 2023, their symptoms can still go unnoticed by those around them.

Beat is a UK based eating disorder charity. It started in 1989 and its aim is to end the pain caused by eating disorders.

Eating disorders can take on different forms.

Avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder (AFRID)

ARFID, 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.

Reasons that someone might avoid or restrict their food intake include:

  • They may be sensitive to the taste texture or appearance of certain foods.
  • They may have had a distressing experience with food, such as choking or vomiting and so might have concerns about the consequences of eating.  They may then avoid certain foods and see others as ‘safe’.
  • Some people may have a low interest in food, they might not recognise they are hungry.

To find out more about AFRID please click on this sentence.

Bulimia

Bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) 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).

To find out more about Bulimia please click on this sentence.

Binge Eating Disorder

People with binge eating disorder eat large quantities of food over a short period of time (called binge eating). Unlike people with bulimia, they don’t usually follow this by getting rid of the food through, for example, vomiting, though sometimes they might fast between binges. BED is not about choosing to eat large portions, nor are people who suffer from it just “overindulging” – far from being enjoyable, binges are very distressing, often involving a much larger amount of food than someone would want to eat. People may find it difficult to stop during a binge even if they want to. Some people with binge eating disorder have described feeling disconnected from what they’re doing during a binge, or even struggling to remember what they’ve eaten afterwards.

To find out more about Binge Eating please click on this sentence.

Anorexia

Anorexia is where people are a low weight due to limiting how much they eat and drink. As well as this they may do lots of exercise, make themselves sick or misuse laxatives. Sometimes people with anorexia may go through periods of binging and purging.

Weight and shape may be a big factor in someone with anorexia’s sense of self-worth. This can lead to them checking their body regularly, or else trying to avoid scales and mirrors. The way people with anorexia see themselves is often at odds with how others see them – they often have a distorted image of themselves, and think they’re larger than they really are. They experience a deep fear of gaining weight, and will usually challenge the idea that they should.

To find out more about Anorexia Eating please click on this sentence.

What to do if you think you have an eating disorder or are worried about someone else?

If you think that you might have an eating disorder, or you are concerned about someone you care about there are various things you can do.

  • Explore online resources such as BEAT
  • Talk to someone about your concerns, a friend or family member, the BEAT Helpline, a therapist.
  • Make an appointment and speak to your GP

Whatever you are struggling with sometimes there is no substitute for speaking to a professional. If you are struggling with any issue you might find it beneficial to speak to a professional. If you would like formal help and would like to make an appointment with Paul, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can.

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