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Eating difficulties Talking Therapies

Eating difficulties

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Some of the common symptoms of eating difficulties

Have you been feeling?

  • low in energy
  • upset
  • tearful
  • flat
  • irritable
  • nauseous
  • stressed
  • guilt

Have you had thoughts like?

  • ‘I must make myself sick because I have eaten too much and I don’t want to get fat’
  • ‘I have lost control over how much I am eating’
  • ‘I am too fat’
  • ‘I am ugly’
  • ‘I don’t look like others do’
  • ‘I must stay in control’
  • ‘I can’t eat in front of others’

Have you noticed?

  • an increase or decrease in appetite
  • you are eating too much or too little
  • you are spending more time alone
  • you have stopped doing the things you enjoy
  • you lack in energy
  • poor concentration or poor memory
  • you are focusing excessively on your body weight and shape
  • you are exercising excessively
  • you are deliberately starving yourself
  • you are binge eating and/or purging
  • you are unnecessarily self-medicating with laxatives
  • your weight decreases rapidly

Possible causes of eating difficulties

  • longstanding unhappiness which may show itself through eating.
  • low lood – binges may start off as a way of coping with unhappiness.
  • low self-esteem
  • social/peer pressure
  • need for control if other areas in life are out of control
  • obsessive personality traits
  • trauma – such as sexual or emotional abuse or the death of someone special
  • difficult relationships with family members or friends
  • stressful situations, for example problems at work, home or school.

How common are eating difficulties?

  • 19 women out of every 100,000 are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa every year.
  • 2 men out of every 100,000 are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa every year.
  • 1% of young women suffer from bulimia nervosa.
  • binge-eating usually affects males and females equally and usually appears later in life, between the ages of 30 and 40.
  • as many cases of eating difficulties are unreported or undiagnosed, the actual figures are likely to be much higher; research has suggested that as many as 1.5 million people in the UK might be experiencing some form of eating difficulty

How can I get help?

You will first need an assessment with one of our therapists. You will have an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and what your goals are. During your assessment you will be able to discuss treatment options with your therapist, where you may both decide on a therapy that is best suited to your needs.

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