‘Eating disorder’ is a generic term for illnesses associated with eating. Typically one of four diagnoses are made; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, BED (binge eating disorder or binge eating syndrome) and OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders). An OSFED diagnosis usually means that some of the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are met, but not all. All variants of eating disorders require treatment and are conditions with serious medical and psychiatric consequences.

Eating disorders can also affect the sufferer’s family and close friends due to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that those close to an individual with an eating disorder may experience.

Early warning signs of anorexia nervosa:
  • Vegetarian diet
  • Avoidance of sweets
  • Eating slowly and postponing of meals
  • Eating in seclusion
  • Exaggerated interest in food and weight
  • Constantly thinking about dieting
  • Increased physical activity
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Avoidance of social situations
Early warning signs of bulimia nervosa:
  • Irregular meal times (often skips breakfast)
  • Eating healthy foods in social gatherings but large amounts of unhealthy food when the individual is alone
  • Large amounts of food ‘disappear’ in their home
  • Mood swings
  • Fixation on food and body weight
  • Constantly dieting
  • Increased physical activity/self induced vomiting
10 questions parents/relative should ask eating disorder clinicians:
  1. How does the treatment work?
  2. Do you use medications, and if so which ones and why?
  3. What it your success rate?
  4. What are your remission criteria?
  5. How long does the treatment take?
  6. How many patients relapse?
  7. How many patients drop out of treatment?
  8. Are patients followed up after treatment?
  9. How much experience do you have working with eating disorders?
  10. Do you have any published results?

We are happy to provide you with more information and advice on how you can support a family member with an eating disorder.
Please contact us on +46 (0)8 556 406 00.

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