Sarah Morton Counselling
Sarah Morton
North London, Counsellor, Golders Green

Golders Green, North West London

MBACP (Accred) counsellor/psychotherapist 

I am an accredited counsellor/psychotherapist 
MBACP (Accred) and a counselling supervisor.
As a member of the BACP, I abide by its ethical framework and I am on the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
07505 321 449
Eating Disorders

Someone who has an eating disorder will be intently focused on their weight and body shape, which they may perceive as being unattractive or overweight. These perceptions lead to changes in eating habits which can affect the person's physical and mental health.

While eating disorders tend to be more common in certain age groups, they can affect men and women of all ages from all types of backgrounds. Typically eating disorders are a sort of coping mechanism, helping the sufferer to control or deal with difficult feelings - albeit in an unhealthy way.

Eating disorders are complex by nature and there can be a variety of signs and symptoms involved. Alongside the eating disorder itself, many sufferers also feel depressed and may experience other mental health difficulties such as self-harm.

Do I have an eating disorder?

If your thoughts revolve around food or the way you look, and this is affecting the way you eat - you may be at risk of developing an eating disorder. Doctors typically use a questionnaire called SCOFF to help them diagnose eating disorders, the questions that are asked include:

Sick - Do you even make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
Control - Do you worry that you have lost control when it comes to the amount you eat?
One stone - Have you recently lost more than one stone in a three-month period?
Fat - Do you think you are fat even though others say you are thin?
Food - Would you say that food dominates your life?

This is generally used as a guide, however more thorough discussions would need to take place before a diagnosis was made. If you are worried about your relationship with food at all, seeking help early could help you from developing an eating disorder in the future.

Types of eating disorders

There are several different types of eating disorders, each with differing signs and symptoms. For a more detailed look at each disorder.

Anorexia nervosa - This eating disorder causes the sufferer to feel overweight even though they may be considerably underweight. A desire to lose weight causes the sufferer to skip meals, starve themselves and/or exercise excessively.

Bulimia nervosa - Similarly to anorexia, bulimia sufferers also have a desire to lose weight. With this disorder, this is achieved by bingeing on food and then purging - either by making themselves sick or using laxatives.

Binge-eating disorder - An eating disorder that makes sufferers feel compelled to overeat as a way of dealing with difficult emotions.

Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) - An EDNOS sufferer may have some, but not all of the typical signs of other eating disorders or may not meet the diagnosis requirements of these disorders, despite having disordered thinking about food.