Beat Eating Disorders
On average 149 weeks pass before someone with an eating disorder seeks help.This year the focus of the campaign is #whywait.
Eating disorders come in many guises. They can affect anyone at any age however the most common misconception is that they only affect women, but 15% of people who are diagnosed are men. Many men also find it harder to seek help because of the perceived stigma attached to it.
An eating disorder is not a fad diet or “just a phase” it is a complex and serious mental health disorder. Many suffers are sensitive intelligent people who can carry on with every other aspect of their life as normal. They don’t just decide one day to develop an eating disorder it is something that creeps up on them without them really noticing at first.
Eating disorders can be difficult to spot in friends and family as well as difficult to talk about as many people become defensive when questioned about their eating or weight. In fact, a recent YouGov survey revealed that 1 in 3 adults wouldn’t be able to name a sign or symptom of an eating disorder*.
So what are the signs?
Some common signs of an eating disorder may include;
- Missing meals
- Cutting food into tiny pieces to make it less obvious they have eaten little or to make food easier to swallow
- Excessive exercising and/or calorie counting
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irregular periods
If you do suspect someone has an eating disorder you can help by:
- Choosing a quiet moment when there are no other distractions to raise the topic with them.
- Staying calm and having prepared what you want to say
- Not placing blame on them or becoming judgemental, just concentrate on how they're feeling
- Avoiding talking about their appearance, even if it's meant as a compliment
- Using words like “I” rather than “you”
- Not discussing other people's diets or weight problems
They may not open the first time you try but don’t feel hurt and resentful of them being secretive– this is because of their illness, not their relationship with you. Inside many are scared and confused. Keep trying.
The good news is that eating disorders can be treated successfully although the journey will be different for everyone. The hardest part can be admitting that you have a problem.
Here at Kingsbridge Private Hospital we have a team of doctors, psychologists and dieticians all of whom take a holistic approach to helping you and putting a recovery plan in progress with full support throughout.
If you would like to find out more about these services contact our One2One patient advisor team on 028 90 667 878. Alternatively, you can book an appointment to see one of our private GPs.