Disordered eating, or “eating disorders,” is a behavioural condition characterised by disturbances in eating behaviours. These behaviours are usually associated with distressing thoughts and emotional patterns.
Disordered eating can be very dangerous, affecting both physical and mental health and well-being.
Some of the most common forms of disordered eating include:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Rumination disorder
But What Causes Disordered Eating to Develop?
Research suggests that roughly 5% of the population is affected by disordered eating and that it typically develops in adolescence and young adulthood.
There are many different reasons why someone may develop disordered eating.
Western cultures have glorified thinness and have communicated body-shaming messages. Although there may now be more of a push for celebrating all shapes and sizes, many still feel the pressure of having a body that looks a particular way.
Many who can develop eating disorders feel the need to please others, often those closest. Unfortunately, achieving perfection can invade every facet of their life, including their looks.
Those living in dysfunctional or chaotic homes may feel they have no control over their life. Disordered eating can give a distorted sense of control through food intake and exercise.
While the change won’t happen overnight, it can happen. If you or a loved one are suffering from disordered eating, please know treatment is available. Getting a medical professional involved is very important due to the health risks of disordered eating. Check with your local authority regarding local services and make a GP appointment.
Talk therapy is one of the most common and effective treatments for disordered eating. A therapist can provide you or your loved one with the tools and knowledge to uncover why your eating patterns developed and how you can change your behaviours.
If you would like to find someone to work with, please reach out to me.