Local charities based in Lothian, Scotland have welcomed the opening of an NHS eating disorder clinic, however they indicate that with the capacity of just 12 beds this will hardly scratch the surface of what is actually needed. Beat, the working name of the Eating Disorders Association, believes that 1.15 million people in this country have a significant problem but only a minority of these are receiving eating disorder treatment.
There is also a growing increase for people to mask eating disorders under the banner of “ healthy eating” where they are restricting food intake to dangerous health levels under the banner of “portion control” or indicating “intolerance” to certain food groups, without any medical evidence to this effect.
Our personal experience at Life Works definitely mirrors this as we have seen a year on year increase of enquiries from people looking for eating disorder treatment, be that for Anorexia, Bulimia or demonstrating compulsive/overeating behaviour. We recognize that it is difficult for people with an eating disorder to acknowledge their problems and seek help, but eating disorders can ruin the physical and mental health of those who do not seek treatment.
Because we acknowledge the issues causing an unhealthy relationship with food are complicated, our treatment plans include both group and one to one psychological counselling, diet and nutritional advice, and medications when needed. Without professional care, we know that eating disorders can leave a patient with dental problems, intestinal issues, weaker bones, muscle loss, high blood pressure, heart problems, and other serious health issues.
To prevent these dangerous complications, it is vital for eating disorders to be treated as soon as possible so we can equip individuals with the necessary coping skills to help them actively manage their problems and work toward eating disorder recovery.