For example, you might have times when you:
However, if you feel like your relationship to food and eating is taking over your life, it may become a problem.
An eating disorder is a medical diagnosis based on your eating patterns, the effects these have on your body, and the psychological factors connected with this.
We deliberately use the term ‘eating distress’ because you can access our support if you feel you are affected by your relationship with food.
Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is a serious mental illness where people limit the amount of food they eat and do not get enough energy to stay healthy.
If you get a bulimia diagnosis (known as bulimia nervosa), you may experience a cycle of what's called bingeing and purging.
If you get a diagnosis for binge eating disorder, you might feel unable to stop eating, even if you want to.
If you get a diagnosis of ARFID, you'll strongly feel the need to avoid certain foods (or all foods).
If you get an OSFED diagnosis, you have an eating disorder. However, you don't meet all the criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.
There is no single cause of eating problems. Most health professionals think they're caused by a combination of factors, which will be unique to each sufferer.
Common risk factors include personality traits, biological factors, difficult life experiences, physical or mental health problems and social or family pressures. The MIND website talks about possible causes in more detail.
Often people with eating distress can identify triggers which, whilst not causing the problem, can make it more difficult to manage, for examples deadlines at work or social occasions. Knowing your triggers can help you to plan for situations where your condition is likely to become harder to manage.
Recovery from eating problems is possible, but can take time. Recovery means different things to different people.
Getting treatment can help you develop healthy, balanced eating patterns. It can also help you face and cope with the underlying issues of your eating problem.
As a small charity, we rely on the amazing generosity of the public to allow us to continue our work. Every donation is noticed and appreciated, and allows us to really make a difference in someone’s life – by helping to provide specialised one to one counselling sessions to people who would otherwise not be able to access them, run our support groups, and provide training so people can spot the signs of eating distress and help others seek the support they need as early as possible. We use Local Giving as our donation platform, and any contribution enables us to continue providing our supportive services for people struggling with anxiety around food