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An eating disorder is…

An eating disorder is…

  • when the person has extreme beliefs and behaviours about food and weight
  • a disorder that can have negative consequences for your physical and psychological health and personal relationships
  • a disorder that mainly affects teenage girls and women but also boys and men
  • a mental health disorder that must be taken seriously
  • a complex disorder that must be diagnosed by a health care professional

Anorexia and bulimia are the best-known eating disorders, but there is also binge eating disorder (which results in obesity) and unspecified eating disorders, which include eating disorders that we can’t yet really explain or understand, such as an obsession with healthy eating or an obsession with building muscles.

An eating disorder is serious!

Eating disorders have to be taken very seriously, since they can have serious consequences for the person’s physical and psychological health.

Physical consequences

  • fatigue, headache
  • dry skin, broken nails, yellowish or greyish complexion, hair loss
  • dental problems, broken blood vessels in the face, muscle wasting
  • menstruation stops, loss of sexual desire
  • digestive problems, trembling, cold feeling, loss of consciousness
  • heart problems, dehydration, and death

Psychological consequences

  • excessive concern with weight and food, tendency to feel guilty
  • mood swings, depression, difficulty concentrating
  • feelings of loneliness and isolation, avoidance of social activities and meals
  • distorted body image, loss of self-esteem
  • suicidal thoughts

If you think you have symptoms of an eating disorder, it’s important for you to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

If you want to help someone who has an eating disorder, contact Tel-jeunes. Our counsellors can give you advice on how you might approach the person.