Mind supports personal recovery and promotes wellbeing.
Recovery is often described as a journey of personal discovery which includes new learning on how to live well.
When a person becomes obsessed with food and their weight and is also unrealistic about their body image they may have an eating disorder. This is a serious illness and is most common among adolescent girls and young women but can affect boys and men too. Common symptoms include a change in eating habits, like obsessive dieting, weighing food, refusing to eat meals, going to the bathroom during or after meals and physical changes like wearing loose clothing to hide weight changes, hair thinning and excessively greasy or dry skin and hair.
Types of eating disorders include:
- Anorexia nervosa – Not eating enough, to the point of starvation at its worst, yet feeling overweight.
- Bulimia nervosa – Feeling unable to control the urge to eat and eating too much, then feeling guilty and purging the excess in different ways, including vomiting, the use of laxatives or excessive exercise .
- Binge eating – Eating excessively, even if not hungry, and often to mask other feelings of, perhaps, anxiety, loneliness or depression and feeling guilty afterwards.
Often the eating disorder is a way of dealing with some other psychological problem, such as low self-esteem, and a person may go to great lengths to hide their behaviour.
Treatment varies depending on the type of eating disorder, age and gender of the person affected Individual psychotherapy family therapy and nutritional support may be of great help.
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