'Disordered Eating' And Why Not Getting A Name For My Eating Problems Made Them So Much Worse

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Whether you’re one of the lucky few who have lived a life without being touched by mental health or you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer with a mental illness yourself, we’re all familiar with the most common eating disorders.

Anxiety, bulimia, even orthorexia, the majority of us are familiar with these eating disorders and most of us can even name some of the most common, perhaps stereo-typical symptoms but how many of you knew that ‘disordered eating’ is a ‘thing’?

I didn’t until I was told by my GP after being quizzed about my symptoms that in fact, I was suffering with ‘disordered eating’. If you’re not familiar with this kind of eating disorder, this is essentially the name for a condition that is made up of multiple different eating disorder tendencies.

The National Eating Disorder Collaboration state how “disordered eating can include behaviours that reflect many but not all of the symptoms of feeding and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or other specified feeding and eating disorders”, which to clarify, pretty much means you’ve got genuine problems associated to food and eating but you just don’t quite fit the mould for a particular eating disorder.

As a diagnosed sufferer of disordered eating, I felt a whole array of emotions when being told that was the condition I was suffering with. As someone who has spent years feeling extremely confused by my issues with eating and dieting, to be diagnosed with a condition I didn’t even realise existed and doesn’t really sound like a ‘real problem’, didn’t make life any easier.

It probably sounds strange to anyone who has never experienced this mindset but when you’re struggling with a mental health problem, getting a name for your issues can actually be one of the first steps to accepting and understanding what’s happening in your brain and help you move towards helping yourself but to be told…

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