More common EDs

Initially, many people think eating disorders are about an unhealthy relationship with food and all things associated with it. This includes weight, calorific intake, exercise and self-image. 

However, underpinning all of this are painful emotional problems, in which sufferers use food to control, punish, reward or comfort themselves. Food may be used as a coping mechanism to deal with life’s stresses if the person feels unable to cope in any other way. Unfortunately though, this perceived solution to life’s worries becomes a problem in its own right.

Eating disorders can become a very serious illness and they affect all aspects of the person's life. Eating disorders are physically, emotionally and mentally draining. It is a very isolating and secretive way of life, putting relationships with friends and family under strain and making daily life increasingly difficult. Not only does it affect the person physically, but it also increases the likelihood of anxiety and depression. It is a psychological illness that has a huge impact on a person's health and a profound effect on those around them.

However, there is hope! With the right treatment, a full recovery is possible and we aim to help you access the appropriate help. The first step is recognising that there is a problem and seeking support. Even those who have a long-term eating disorder can and do recover.  

Some of the more common eating disorders are:

Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa
Binge Eating Disorder

Details of some of the less common eating disorders can be found here.


“I saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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