Monday, 24 February 2014

Welcome to Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so this week I will be doing my best to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders. 

An eating disorder is a mental health problem, where the sufferer struggles with eating in way considered normal and healthy, it varies in the way this can occur. Eating disorders can occur on their own or with links to other physical or mental health problems, for example, co morbidity between anorexia and obsessive compulsive disorder. It affects sufferers mentally, as well as physically. The main categories are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and Binge Eating Disorder. I'll be writing about these during the rest of this week.

Anyone can become unwell with an eating disorder; male or female; child, teenager, adult, old people; any cultural background; any race; any religion. Eating disorders also come in all shapes and sizes, the size of someone doesn't necessarily reflect how much they are controlled by their disorder. 

Help is available in many different ways. Family and friends can be great support, and can also help you access more support. The first port of call is generally your GP, who will be able to monitor your physical health, and refer you to appropriate services. These services include dietician, eating disorder specialists, community mental health teams, general hospital, CAMHS, talking therapies. Helplines can also be helpful, such as beat, anorexia bulimia care and Samaritans. Or forums like Minds Like Ours. Later I will also be doing a "HELP" post, with links and numbers, so if you need someone to talk to there will be plenty of options. There are also plenty of useful books out there, which I will be mentioning throughout the week.

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