Types of Eating Disorder
There are many forms of eating disorder and disordered eating, some of which you may not have heard of before.
The most 'well-known' eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. While anorexia may be one of the most well-known of eating disorders, it's actually one of the least common of eating disorders: there is a significantly higher incidence of bulimia, binge-eating disorder, EDNOS and other eating disorders compared to anorexia. We hear about anorexia more in the media, in books, in magazines etc, however, it not the most common of the eating disorders.
Here's a list of the eating disorders we currently know about. However, there is likely to be more forms of eating disorder and disordered eating, as well as various forms of those eating disorders noted below.
If you require more detailed information about these forms of eating disorder, please get in touch for an Information Sheet.
Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
‘I look normal and I’m not sure if I have an eating disorder’. Some people think that because someone looks ‘normal’ then they can’t have an eating disorder. We can look ‘normal’ but still have all these thoughts, feelings, worries, concerns etc going on underneath.
As far as we are concerned (and, as mentioned previously), if someone says that they have difficulties with food and eating in some way and that it affects their life in some way, then they may have an eating disorder and need help and support. As mentioned previously, diagnostic criteria, especially for eating disorders, are basically there because there is a lack of resources and the number of people eligible to receive ‘formal’ treatment must, therefore, be limited in some way.
Eating disorders come in all forms and most people who have problems with food and eating do not meet all of the diagnostic criteria. As highlighted, this can be dangerous, as perhaps ‘controllable’ behaviours can very easily turn into a very serious mental health condition with devastating consequences.
Many people that we are in contact with question whether they do have an eating disorder, even though they may not be ‘underweight’ or been told they look ‘ok’ or ‘fine’. From our experience, it seems that many people – both men and women – worry that they are not ‘ill enough’ to warrant help and support.
It is important to reassure people that the Glasgow Centre for Eating Disorders provides support and information to anyone who feels that they have problems with food and eating and that it affects their life negatively in some way. Please do not worry about accessing any services because you feel or have been told you look ‘normal’. People can look ‘normal’ and be of a ‘normal’ weight but are, underneath, very ill and debilitated by their eating disordered thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Most people with an eating disorder do not fit into a specific category. We are all different and this is a stereotype that is often portrayed by members of the medical profession and the media and which must be challenged
If you do wish to think a little more about whether you might be suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating, here are some questions to ask yourself. Some of the questions will apply to you and others will not. We are all different, meaning that our eating disorder experiences will also differ from person-to-person and be individual to each of us.
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