There are 5 main ‘labelled’ Eating Disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
- Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
An Eating Disorder is a psychological illness that manifests itself in a physical condition. Having an eating disorder is NOT a choice or a PASSION, it is an illness that one may need professional help to understand and work through. An eating disorder does NOT need to be for life. There is a way OUT!
Having an eating disorder can be like having a best friend and an enemy at the same time! Using food/weight is a way to cope and survive in life, helping manage difficult emotions and experiences one may have gone through, or is currently going through.
The ‘voice’ of an eating disorder is stronger than the spirit of the client, so the empathic support, understanding and relationship from their therapist are essential.
Those suffering with eating disorders normally experience being highly critical of themselves. It can also be a common theme that a person suffering with this illness feels bewildered, chaotic and out of control. As the clients therapist it would appear essential to create a calm, safe and reassuring environment, whilst validating the ‘whole’ of the person, for the client to potentially move forward.
An eating disorder is an illness that takes over their brain; an identity that assumes inside their head, which you switch into without even noticing.
Denial of an eating disorder can be a common element; it can be a defense mechanism for the person. Whilst they believe they are not suffering (the eating disorder is concealing painful feelings) then they are well. Unfortunately this is not the case!