About the campaign
Who: The week is an opportunity to encourage those battling eating disorders to find support while raising awareness of eating disorders and how to identify them.
What: Fight the Fear, a Counselling Directory campaign.
Where: UK, nationwide.
When: Eating Disorders Awareness Week, 27 February – 5 March 2017.
Why: To create awareness of the issue itself and of existing support platforms for those battling eating disorders.
The following content is available for editorial use and reprint with credit to Counselling Directory and link to www.counselling-directory.org.uk where applicable. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to advise of content use.
- Eating disorders page, featuring information on types of eating disorders, spotting the signs of eating disorders, getting help, types of counselling and more.
- An animated video addressing the fears people face when experiencing an eating disorder.
- Counselling Directory team member Kat looks through her old diary entries and reflects on her experience of anorexia in her teens.
- Kat’s mum discusses how she discovered Kat was struggling with anorexia in a video here.
The following information is available for editorial use with credit to Counselling Directory and link to www.counselling-directory.org.uk where applicable. Please send an email to email@example.com to advise of content use.
Quote from Counselling Directory member
“Fat is not a feeling. You can free up your mind and enjoy mindful living. However, the fear of being labelled fat or obese, not being seen as beautiful, can be terrifying. Disordered eating tends to be a survival mechanism for coping with painful childhood emotions repressed into adulthood. Overwhelming emotions such as fear, guilt and shame. Current conflicting societal messages – such as an abundance of easily available food, for example packaged food in our supermarkets – verses a restraint and pressure to be thin creates a cycle of addiction. Such cycle underpins anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder and any other form of compulsive eating”, Counselling Directory member Amanda Perl, Psychotherapist, said.
“For example, anorexia sufferers are afraid of food and feel a rush of relief or pleasure – a power surge – when they don’t eat. As such, they psychologically rise above their biology. When they eat, they believe they have let themselves down, and suffer symptoms of withdrawal. Destructive emotions such as disgust, anger and guilt lead to self-loathing and deep shame. The fear of such painful emotions sends them ’round the addictive cycle all over again. Comfortably numb is the desired state. As eating disorders are so stigmatised, the fear of feeling ashamed, inferior and humiliated is the reason why sufferers often do not seek help”, Perl said.
Types of eating disorders
Anorexia nervosa – Someone with anorexia will have a desire to lose weight, even if they are of a healthy weight or are underweight. There are many factors that lead to this, including a need for control, thinking they are overweight and/or seeing themselves as unworthy of food. This way of thinking can lead to the person to skip meals and/or exercising excessively.
Bulimia – Someone with bulimia may feel as if they have lost control of their relationship with food. People with bulimia can fall into a cycle of eating excessively (binge-eating) and purging – through vomiting, over-exercising or using laxatives.
Binge-eating disorder – This sees people experiencing a loss of control and overeating regularly. Sometimes described as compulsive eating, a person may rely on food for emotional support or use food as a way to mask difficult feelings. Affecting both men and women, binge-eating disorder is more common in adults.
Counselling Directory will be using #fightthefear
About Counselling Directory.
t: 01276 301 230
m: 07481 742801 (after hours)
Interviews with professional counsellors and additional information on this topic is available upon request.