Category Archives: Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

The notes/resources provided deliberately do not spell out details of eating disorders. An eating disorder is usually a symptom of an underlying psychological problem. You are teachers, not psychologist, psychotherapists or psychiatrists. It is therefore suggested that eating disorders should be mentioned as part of an appropriate PSHE lesson but that you do NOT deliver a lesson about them per se.
The three commonest disorders are:
o Anorexia- an obsessive desire to lose weight or stay thin by not eating.
o Bulimia – eating a large quantity of food and then inducing vomiting or using large numbers of laxatives to get rid of it.
o Binge (or Compulsive) eating is Bulimia without the purging and vomiting – which results in rapid weight gain.
It’s hard to understand what happens but people develop these disorders when they have deep emotional issues, together with very low self-esteem and a loss of sense of control. People can be very secretive about these disorders– but they affect boys and girls from all social classes and ethnic groups. You can’t fix their problems but you can empower people by being there for them, by listening to them tell you how they feel. Some young people have reported feeling judged by their teachers and therefore discounted them as a source of help.
Eating disorders may become life threatening, the sooner the person gets some professional help, the sooner he/she will recover. Suggest the person concerned speaks to someone like the school nurse or counsellor.
Sources of help
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/parentsandyouthinfo/parentscarers/eatingdisorders.aspx
http://www.b-eat.co.uk/