You can live a life free from Anorexia.
You may be unsure whether you have an eating disorder, but you are aware that there’s something not quite right about your relationship to food, eating and your body.
Whatever your situation, we know how hard it is to admit you’re struggling, and there’s likely a big part of you that doesn’t want to reach out for fear of what treatment will entail. So, be proud of taking this first step.
Anorexia is a complex mental illness, but it is treatable, and with the right support recovery is possible.
You may be unsure of what “recovery” is or what it looks like. To us, recovery is more than just an absence of symptoms. It is a gradual process that won’t happen on any particular day but will deepen and strengthen with time. Our commitment is to the individual and their journey, along with their support system around them of family and carers.
What is Anorexia?
There is no one way to have Anorexia, but there are common behavioural patterns and emotional and cognitive characteristics that help in diagnosing the illness.
Anorexia typically involves restrictive eating; where someone limits their food intake to a dangerous and often life-threatening degree.
An irrational fear of gaining weight and distorted body image can feed into their restricted relationship to food as they attempt to maintain a low weight or strive to lose more.
Excessive exercise and binge/purge cycles – often associated with Bulimia – may also factor in someone’s Anorexia as they attempt to compensate for any food that is eaten.
This preoccupation with food can lead to secrecy and self-conscious eating around other people; contributing towards social withdrawal and isolation as they attempt to hide or protect the eating disorder.
Despite how it may seem, Anorexia – like other eating disorders – is not about the food. Rather, there are complex emotional underlying causes that force an individual to look outside themselves to cope.
It’s important to remember that Anorexia often causes feelings of guilt and shame, which fuels the “critical voice” of the eating disorder and traps them further within their illness. Despite how avoidant someone may be about receiving help and support, it’s important that they don’t feel alone in their recovery journey.
Eating disorders – despite how they look – are not about food.
Rather, there are complex emotional underlying causes that force an individual to look outside themselves to cope.
Our expert team discuss more in this video.
How do I know if I have an eating disorder like Anorexia?
Negative life experiences – for instance, a traumatic experience – can play a role in the development of an eating disorder. The trauma may lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress, and the eating disorder serves a purpose to reduce those levels of anxiety and stress in the short-term, as the individual channels their energy into a preoccupation with food and eating.
Do any of these feel familiar?
- Food and/or exercising has started to dictate life decisions
- Preparing meals, and meals themselves, have become a challenge, including food ‘rituals’ in the preparation or eating of food
- Tightly regulated and restricted eating
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Preoccupation with size and body image
- Low self-esteem and insecurity
- Perfectionism, often at the expense of relationships
- Co-occurring conditions, such as depression and anxiety
Answer the S.C.O.F.F. questionnaire
S.C.O.F.F a screening questionnaire used by GPs to identify eating disorders without having to ask invasive or triggering questions. Though not diagnostic, a score of 2 or more positive answers means you should seek support from a professional.
- Do you ever make yourself Sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
- Do you worry you have lost Control over how much you eat?
- Have you recently lost more than One stone in a three-month period?
- Do you believe yourself to be Fat when others say you are too thin?
- Would you say that Food dominates your life?
Concerned you might have Anorexia Athletica?
We can help.
Learn more about Anorexia Athletica
Anorexia Athletica is a sub-type of the eating disorder, Anorexia. It references a compulsive obsession with exercise alongside symptoms related to restricting food intake and, often, maintaining a low weight with regimented eating.
The diagnosis was first used in the 1980s but has only recently come into common vernacular and is sometimes referred to as “compulsive exercise”, “hypergymnasia” or “sports anorexia”.
People with Anorexia Athletica have a tendency to focus on athletic performance and measure their self-worth against other people’s performance and body types. That being said, there are often complex emotional underlying causes that force an individual to look outside of themselves to cope.
You are not alone. There is support and recovery is possible.
How do I know I need this type of support?
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what type of support you need initially. However, if you feel your relationship with food is beginning to interfere with your daily life, or if you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings, it may be helpful to talk this through with one of our friendly clinicians who are here to listen and support in a non-judgemental way.
They will be able to explain the different types of support we offer in more detail and help you establish whether Orri is the right choice of support for you.
Is there someone I can speak to in confidence?
Yes. There is always someone to talk to in strictest confidence on the ‘Ask Orri’ helpline.
Respect, kindness and compassion. Every step of the way.
Still not sure whether you need support?
Eating disorders can be extremely isolating; trapping the sufferer in a cycle of shame and guilt associated with their behaviours.
We understand how difficult it is to address concerns, however, noticing signs and symptoms and having a conversation about them is the first step in recovery.
Call us: 0203 918 6340
Orri’s approach to treating Anorexia
Orri understands the complexities of eating disorders. We have spent our careers working alongside people living with eating disorders and their families so that recovery becomes possible for all.
To us, recovery involves healing the underlying cause of the eating disorder to ensure full and sustained recovery, as opposed to addressing the symptoms alone – which many other facilities tend to prioritise. We heal the underlying cause by providing individuals with the tools they need to recover – recognizing that everyone is different and therefore everyone’s experience of an eating disorder will be different.
Our particular area of focus is specialist day treatment through a stepped approach. By taking a stepped approach, we can provide the right level of support as individuals maintain their careers, go to school or university, and return to their lives alongside recovery. It’s this flexibility and emphasis on collaboration that makes our approach unique.
Recovery is more than just an absence of symptoms. It is a gradual process that won’t happen on any particular day but will deepen and strengthen with time. Our commitment is to the individual and their journey, as well as to the support system around them of family and carers.
What does a”stepped” approach to treatment mean? Kerrie explains.
We’re here to support you on your journey to recovery.
You might feel as though you’ve tried every treatment in the world and want to explore something completely different.
You may have had eating disorder treatment before, or, this may be your first time reaching out.
Or, you may be unsure whether you have an eating disorder, but you are aware that there’s something not quite right about your relationship to food, eating and your body.
Our expert team understands the complexities of eating disorders. All our clinicians are specialists in eating disorders and have spent their careers working alongside people and their families so that recovery becomes possible for all.
We are here to help people overcome eating disorders and deliver the highest standard of care to individuals and their families. Join our unique recovery community in the heart of London.
“I have never had such good therapy.” – Orri Client
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“We’re trying to understand which parts of themselves they want help to strengthen and which parts they need help to overcome. Because we’ve got an extensive team with lots of different disciplines within it, we offer an unusual level of variety and flexibility, which can be really powerful.”
– Kerrie Jones, Clinical Director
Free 20 minute assessment with our specialists.
To put your mind at ease, we offer a free 20 minute assessment with a specialist clinician to discuss any concerns you have about Anorexia and treatment.
Call us today: 0203 918 6340
Email us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, fill in the quick form below.
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What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is a complex mental illness, but it is treatable and with the right treatment, recovery is possible.
There’s no “right way” to have Bulimia, however, there are shared characteristics and behavioural patterns that help in the diagnosis of the illness. Often, people suffering with Bulimia eat large quantities of food – called “binging” – and then purge the calories from their system. Purging doesn’t always take the form of self-induced vomiting — a person can also rid their system of calories by fasting, exercising compulsively, or taking laxatives or diuretics.
For people suffering Bulimia, eating becomes a means of emotional release. It provides relief in times of stress but the subsequent purging, which satisfies their overwhelming urge to remove the calories, often leaves the individual feeling guilty and ashamed. The person feels a complete loss of control and suffers a good deal of stress as a result.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
There’s no “right way” to have BED, however, there are shared characteristics and behavioural patterns that help in the diagnosis of the illness.
BED is not about the food, rather, the symbolic act of binging can be understood as an attempt to negate or interrupt overwhelming negative emotions. People often talk of entering a trance-like state when binging, or, becoming preoccupied with planning their binges as they go about their everyday lives in work or education.
Because of the secretive nature of the illness, and the fact that many people with BED maintain a “normal” weight, the illness often persists whilst someone is otherwise high-functioning in other areas of their lives.
Orthorexia is an eating disorder that is characterised by symptoms of obsessive behaviour towards food, often in pursuit of a “healthy” diet.
Those suffering with Orthorexia may be extremely selective and restrictive with their food and food types. They may categorise food as “good” or “bad” and attempt to eat only “pure” foods whilst following a seemingly “perfect” diet.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
ARFID is a new eating disorder diagnosis referenced in the DSM-5.
Previously coined “Selective Eating”, it involves limitations and/or restrictions around food, particularly around the intake of certain types of food or certain amounts.
Rather, it is classified by a rejection of certain foods often due to a sensitivity in taste, texture, smell, appearance or temperature.
We’re here to discuss any questions you may have.