Eating Disorders

eating disorder counselling

Do you constantly worry about your body shape and weight?
Do you avoid social situations where you believe food will be involved?
Do you restrict the amount of food that you eat?
Do you make yourself sick or take laxatives after eating?
Do you over exercise?
Have you developed strict habits or routines around food?
Have you experienced changes to your moods or become irritable?

If any of these sound familiar then you may be struggling with an eating disorder.

How we can help…

Eating disorders can develop at any age however the risk is considered highest for young men and women between 13 and 17 years of age. It is also common to have more than one type of eating disorder.

It is possible to recover from an eating disorder, however, it may take some time and the route to recovery is different for each person. If you think you, or someone you love, is suffering from an eating disorder contact us to find out more about our eating disorder counselling service and how we can help.

Eating Disorders – Adults

Many people have a difficult relationship with food and some may develop an unhealthy attitude towards it. Their relationship with and attitude towards food can take over their life and lead them to either eat too much or too little. Some people may become obsessed with their body shape and weight. This may lead them to engage in unhealthy or harmful behaviours in order to lose weight or maintain a very low weight. There are four different types of eating disorder; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating and eating disorder not otherwise specified (this refers to an individual who has traits from different eating disorders and does not fit within the former three. We can support you with our eating disorder counselling service.
Physical Indicators:
  • feeling tired or dizzy
  • feeling cold
  • difficulties with your digestion
  • your weight either being high or low for your age
  • Amenorrhea (no longer getting your period)

Eating Disorders – Young People

The onset of most eating disorders happens before the age of 25 and it is quite rare for an eating disorder to develop in adulthood. Most eating disorders impact young people, women and men, aged between 13 and 17 years old. Eating disorders are often understood through a developmental approach and can be seen as an unhealthy coping mechanism that young people adopt to manage life stresses that occur throughout adolescence. During adolescence, a young person begins to separate from their parents and develop their own identity. For young people who are struggling with an eating disorder, their body shape and weight becomes a key part of their overall identity. For example, being thin becomes a defining part of who they are.
Physical Indicators
  • dramatic weight loss
  • lying about how much they weigh
  • lying about when and how much they have eaten
  • eating a large amount of food quickly/short space of time
  • going to the bathroom immediately following a meal
  • over-exercising or exercising to the point of collapse
  • they may avoid eating meals with the rest of the family
  • they may cut their food into small pieces or eat very slowly
  • they may start wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide weight loss

Binge Eating Disorder

Regularly eating very large amounts of food in a short time in an erratic manner can be a sign of binge eating.  Other symptoms may include:

  • eating very fast 
  • eating until uncomfortably full
  • eating when you’re not hungry
  • eating alone or secretly

Anorexia Nervosa

Intense fear of becoming fat can lead to a restriction on energy intake leading to significantly low body weight.  There is usually a distorted image of body weight or shape on self-evaluation as well as a lack of understanding relating to the seriousness of the impact on low body weight.  


Bulimia Nervosa

People with this disorder eat large quantities of food, over a short period. Typically, it is very difficult to stop even if they want to.  The ‘binges’ may be planned where ‘special’ foods can be purchased or it can be a spontaneous binge and there are typically triggers to this behaviour.