Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder
Eating disorder is psychological and behavioural condition that is described by unhealthy eating habits basically severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviours and associated distressing thoughts and emotions.Preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may also lead to unhealthy eating habits and hence eating disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorder

  • Drastic change in weight loss or gain
  • Feeling not satisfied or unhappy with body shape and size
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Compulsive exercise in order to be active
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Avoiding or hiding food on social occasions
  • Eating too much and then vomiting
  • Eating fast during binge episodes
  • Behavioural changes – such as social withdrawal, irritability or depression

Types of Eating Disorder

·       Anorexia nervosa: characterised by restricted eating, loss of weight and a fear of putting on weight

·       Bulimia nervosa: periods of binge eating (often in secret), followed by attempts to compensate by excessively exercising, vomiting, or periods of strict dieting. Binge eating is often accompanied by feelings of shame, guilt and being 'out of control'

·       Binge-eating disorder: characterised by recurrent periods of binge eating (can include eating much more than normal, feeling uncomfortably full, eating large amounts when not physically hungry). Feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, disgust and depression can follow binge eating episodes. Compensatory Behaviours is not present in binge eating disorder.

Myths and Facts

Myth: Parents are the reason of eating disorders in their children

Fact: Parents are NOT the reason of eating disorder, but they are crucial to treatment & recovery.  However, there is no one reason for the development of an eating disorder, but a number of predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors resulting into risk individuals in a complex and dynamic interplay.  It is noted that eating disorders are an efficient means to cope with difficult life and developmental challenges.

Myth: Eating disorders are lifestyle choices.

Fact: No, one wishes to select to have an eating disorder, however, it starts as a reasonable plan to “get healthy” through diet and exercise get transform into an unhealthy and potentially life-threatening illness.  It often begins as a means of gaining a sense of control in one’s life which escalate into out-of-control behavior.  Its fact that no one wishes or select to get an eating disorder, however, recovery requires making determined decision to give up the eating disorder habits and replacing these coping mechanisms with healthy eating and exercise habits.

Myth: Only young female gets eating disorders.

Fact: Eating disorders tend to affect young adolescent or adult females, however, these conditions are devoid of boundaries—gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic and socioeconomic—no ethnic group is immune.  In practice, males may not be identified as having an eating disorder due to this misconception.

Myth: Eating disorders patients are trying to punish their loved ones. 

Fact: No one decides to get an eating disorder, rarely are the behaviors spiteful or intentionally hurtful to others.  However, loved ones often feel hurt, guilty, embarrassed, perplexed and blame themselves for their child developing an eating disorder. 

Myth: Eating disorders are a way to get attention.

Fact:  Sheila MacLeod in her book The Art of Starvation reports that “dieting is a matter of vanity, but anorexia nervosa is a matter of pride”, most patients make effort to hide their bodies under loose or bulky or baggy clothes as they feel fat.  In the initial stage weight loss due to an eating disorder, there may be positive attention with comments from others about looking “better”, however as the illness progress, the attention turns as more unwanted and negative.

Myth: Eating disorders are features of “adolescent “, it should be ignored and will go away over time.

Fact: Eating disorders generally begin during teenage years as a means to cope with normal developmental tasks like identity formation and/or establishing independence.  Effective, targeted treatment is more likely to result in recovery than ignoring the unhealthy habit and waiting for spontaneous resolution. 


Myth: Its often consider that people with a normal body weight do not have an eating disorder. 

Fact: In eating disorders the core principle is undue influence of body weight or shape on self-esteem or self-worth, distortion of body image, and pervasive thoughts regarding means to become thinner or to avoid gaining over weight.  A person with normal body weight may have these attributes. The normal weight individuals having these attributes often suffer more than those with an abnormal body weight, because their symptoms are often not validated by their appearance, accordingly there is lot of resistance to change.

How do you know you need counselling/Therapy?

One can find out if the need counselling or therapy by checking the following points:

  • You eating habit is unhealthy
  • You are forcing yourself to eat or to not eat food often
  • You engaging in vigorous exercise just to be in shape all the time
  • You have drastic changes in weight loss or gain
  • You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your day-to-day life like work, social engagement etc.
  • You’re experiencing disturbances which impact your overall wellbeing.
  • You’re experiencing emotions on the extremes. For example,you’re either too happy or too angry.
  • You have a difficult time in understanding your emotions or in making sense of what is going on around you.
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself and your loved ones.

Role of counselling &Therapy in overcoming eating disorder

Counselling will help client to understand possible underlying reasons for unhealthy eating patterns, feelings associated with it and learn new skills to cope effectively with them.Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, client’s own personal preferences, and their therapy goals one can find out which types of therapy will be the best work for them. Counsellor and nutritionist work together to make goals and will help you eat healthy to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

How does TalktoAngel Help you in overcoming youreating disorder?

TalktoAngel is an online platform that provides quality therapy and other mental health services online. We have qualified and experienced professionals working with us. Eating disorder is one of our areas of expertise. We have experts and specialists who have successfully worked previously on cases of eating disorder. Studies have proven that online mental health services are as effective as the conventional mode. Furthermore, at TalktoAngel, we put your needs first. Our therapists/counsellors help you with flexible appointments, personalized and customized intervention plans all at the tip of your fingers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • You need professional help to deal with your eating disorder. Few self help tips you can incorporate in your lifestyle to manage eating habits and emotions are as follow: • Mange your emotions related to your body and weight when someone comments on the same • Boost your confidence and esteem with positive self affirmations • Foster a healthy relationship with food • Eat healthy and on time • Indulge in healthy practices like nature walk and yoga
  • Yes, eating disorder has been identifies as mental disorder.
  • You cannot take medication for eating disorder by your own without the consultation of a psychiatrist. It is unprofessional and ethically wrong for us to disclose any medication in this manner. You can consult with one of our professionals. Moreover, medication is only effective in the long term if coupled with effective psychotherapy.

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Are my Eating Habits normal?

Are my Eating Habits normal?


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