More common EDs

Initially, many people think eating disorders are about an unhealthy relationship with food and all things associated with food; such as weight, calorific intake, exercise and self-image, for example. 

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 sufferer feels unable to manage 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 a sufferer’s life – physically, emotionally and mentally.  It is a very isolating and secretive way of life – putting relationships with friends and family under strain, and making the day to day increasingly difficult.  Not only does it affect the sufferer 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 physical and mental 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 to access the appropriate help.  The first step is recognising that there is a problem, and to seek help and support as soon as possible.  It should be pointed out too, that even those who have a long-term eating disorder can, and do, recover.  

Some of the more common eating disorders are:

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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