Eating Disorders

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are complex and serious mental illnesses that often come with serious health complications. A common myth is that eating disorders are part of a lifestyle choice, however this is untrue, and people with a disorder require help. In fact, the mortality rate for people with eating disorders is the highest of any psychological illness. The main kinds of eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, though many people experience symptoms across these conditions, which can change at different times in their life. Eating disorders can affect all kinds of people, including males and females, young people and adults, and people at normal weight can have eating disorders.

What are the symptoms of eating disorders?

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Restriction of food, leading to weight loss and/or a low body weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
  • Negative self-evaluation of body shape or weight
  • Lack of recognition of the seriousness of low body weight

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating a large amount of food over a short period of time)
  • A sense of a lack of control during binge eating episodes
  • Binge eating is followed by compensatory behaviours to prevent weight gain, such as vomiting, excessive exercise or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics or other medications

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating a large amount of food over a short period of time)
  • A sense of a lack of control during binge eating episodes
  • Binge eating episodes are often associated with:
    • Feelings of shame or disgust with oneself following a binge eating episode
    • Eating more rapidly than usual
    • Eating until uncomfortable full
    • Eating when not hungry
    • Eating alone due to embarrassment by how much is eaten
  • Binge eating causes feelings of distress

How are eating disorders treated?

Recommended treatments for eating disorders include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Here at myLife Psychologists we don’t focus on food, weight or appearance, but instead we take a wholistic view to help you life a full and meaningful life.Your psychologist will help you to establish helpful eating patterns, achieve better life balance, learn more effective coping strategies, and develop a healthier relationship with yourself, your body and with food.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment with one of our clinical psychologists, contact us.