BEATing eating disorders | People Plus

BEATing eating disorders

This week we are supporting Eating Disorders Awareness Week, set up by BEAT, the UK’s eating disorder Charity.

There are various eating disorders out there; anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and more. Regardless of the name, one common thing amongst them is that they are all diagnosable medical conditions which present mental health problems that negatively impact your health, emotions and your ability to function in important areas of life.

Similar to many mental health conditions, this means anyone can be affected and there are preconceptions, stereotypes and stigma attached to them. Like most mental health conditions, it can be isolating, relentless and debilitating. Fortunately, there is always help and reaching out to the trained health professionals of BEAT can help you to recover. The charity BEAT which was founded in 1989 and is the UK’s eating disorder charity after two charities: Anorexic Aid and Anorexic Family Aid merged as one to develop into the Eating Disorder Association which became BEAT.

This charity provides an outlet for people to share their battles without being judged, as suffering from an eating disorder can often be misunderstood. In the UK, an estimated 1.25 million people have an eating disorder and of those, 25% are male. BEAT was created to support every sufferer through their adverse eating patterns and empowering them to regain control so that they can recover and live fulfilling lives.

Regardless of any preconceptions of what an eating disorder was or what the typical person with an eating disorder looked like, anyone struggling with their eating behaviours may require medical and professional help. It is our job to help create a society where people can be supported to get help and not be victim to stigma or stereotype, especially when there is treatment available to help you recover.

How can someone get their life back on track?

  1. Contact BEAT – There will always be a friendly voice at the end of the line that will listen and provide caring advice, you are never alone.
  2. Buddy up – Social events can be daunting obstacles but be brave, confide in a friend or family member and embrace a fun activity twice per week to provide distraction and relaxation.
  3. Food as fuel – Research vitamins and minerals and view nutrient-dense food as the source to boost energy levels, whilst protecting us against disease and as natural medicine to heal the body and mind.

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Written by Kim Derbyshire, Wellbeing Consultant, PeoplePlus

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