They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but rudimental surgery techniques aside, we're here to talk food and in particular, eating disorders. For many people, eating disorders are purely the domain of women and fashion models, but that is simply not the case. Men are just as susceptible to eating disorders as our female friends. In addition, eating disorders aren't solely centred around not eating.

Food plays an important part in all our lives. Without it, we would literally, starve to death! As important as it is to our very survival, the relationship we have with food changes over the course of our lives. As a child we are happy to stuff almost anything in our mouths, provided it's high in sugar and comes in garish colours. As we grow, our tastes change and develop. We get to try new flavours and textures as we travel the world and can get almost any ingredient delivered to our door through the power of the inter web. We are now in a position to share recipes as easily with people around the corner as with people around the globe.

For those living with mental illness, eating well can be a difficult balancing act. When you feel down, it's easy to grab comfort food that you think will cheer you up, or you can just as easily lose your appetite completely. In the short-term, neither of these things can cause too many problems, but if your diet suffers for an extended period, the consequences can become quite serious.

 

WHAT CAUSES EATING DISORDERS?

When it comes to eating problems, the root cause isn't always the food itself. They can stem from difficult experiences you've had or unhappy feelings that are triggered by stressful events. If you find any of them difficult to face, hard to resolve or tough to explain, food can be used as the focus of those problems.

You can have an eating problem, but that can differ from have an eating disorder. Eating disorders have a certain set of medical criteria that describes their symptoms. We explain more about this is under each type listed below.

TYPES OF EATING DISORDERS

By reading our guides below, they will hopefully help you understand what those who live with these eating disorders go through on a daily basis and, for many, it will help break the stigma of mental illness.

If you feel like there's a condition that has been omitted from this list that you think needs to be included, then please let us know. All the links for getting in touch are below.