It is normal to feel dissatisfied with our appearance from time to time and to make adjustments to our eating and behavior in order to regain motivation and feel better bout ourselves. An eating disorder however is characterised by more extreme concerns about one’s weight, shape, eating, and body image. The result is that such behaviors can greatly impact one’s physical, psychological, and social functioning.
Eating disorders can affect men and women from all walks of life. Around 1 in 20 Australians has an eating disorder (The Butterfly Foundation, 2020). They are characterised by two key features: distorted eating habits and distorted weight control behaviors including:
- Restricted food intake
- Strict dietary rules
- Preoccupation with food
- Binge eating
- Altered mealtime behaviors
- Excessive exercise
- Misuse of laxatives and diuretics
The above habits become “distorted” when they become harmful due to extreme use (Fursland et al, 2007). An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice or a cry for attention. Eating disorders develop as a result of a combination of risk factors including genetic vulnerability, psychological and social-cultural influence. They are to be taken seriously as they can drastically impact mental wellbeing (The Butterfly Foundation, 2020).
If you resonate with any of the above or are concerned about a family member or friend, please make contact with our friendly admin team. Clinicians at The Anna Centre can offer a range of therapeutic interventions to assist you to move in the direction of treatment, wellbeing, and recovery.
Fursland, A., S. & Nathan, P. (2007) Overcoming Disordered eating. Perth, Western Australia: Centre for Clinical Interventions