What are eating disorders?
|Eating disorders are illnesses that manifest themselves in extreme unhealthy eating patterns. They are mental conditions that affect eating habits but are not necessarily tied to a specific body type; someone with an eating disorder can appear very thin, healthy weighted or above healthy weight. Although symptoms of these disorders emerge primarily in young women, eating disorders can affect anyone from any gender, age, ethnicity and income level.|
There are a few main types of eating disorders, highlighted below. An individual with an eating disorder can suffer from more than one of the following types of disorders. The following describes the symptoms and not the causes of eating disorders.
What causes eating disorders?
|As with any other mental illness, eating disorders are complex, multi-layered disorders that arise from various psychological, mental and emotional issues that vary from individual to individual. However there are a few broad issues that have been observed to lead to eating disorders.|
How can I tell if I, or someone else, have an eating disorder?
|They may have:|
What should I do when someone I know has an eating disorder?
|Support is extremely important for someone experiencing an eating disorder, even if they might act like they do not want your help. Let your friend know that you are there for them by providing a listening ear. You should not exert excessive pressure on them to seek treatment, as this may result in worsening the relationship or ineffective treatment. However if the disorder has reached a life-threatening level, you should inform a trustworthy figure of authority in order to get your friend the urgent help they need.|
I/Someone I know has an eating disorder, where can I get help?
|Currently, AWARE does not specialise in the treatment and advocacy of eating disorders although we do provide general counseling for women or girls in need of support. Organisations and establishments that do focus or specialise in such disorders are listed below.|
What can I do to prevent an eating disorder?
|As of yet, there has been no scientific proof of ways eating disorders can be prevented, however there are a few ways you can protect yourself from succumbing to an eating disorder.|
As an individual:
As a parent: