As a therapist I have worked with people who suffer from eating disorders for over ten years in the residential treatment program that I co-founded and am CEO of. An eating disorder may including eating too much or with-holding food to the degree where it causes a negative effect on physical and mental health. It can also include binging and then purging everything eaten. Eating disorders impact all aspects of a person’s life. The most common eating disorders are anorexia or bulimia nervosa which often overlap with each other.
Binge eating is another disorder where an individual eats large amounts of food in a small amount of time. The behaviour is accompanied by feelings of being out of control and unable to stop eating resulting often in morbid obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.
Eating issues are not about food but about either a desire to try and control something when every other aspect of life seems out of control. Seeking to fill the void inside with food or punish the body by withholding it needs specialist care. Long term therapy or residential treatment that looks at the underlying issues rather than just trying to get a client to eat more or less is key if a person is ever going to live a normal life. As a therapist who has helped many young women find freedom from this condition there is hope but it will take time.