Food is commonly seen as an important aspect of culture and companionship, as well as being vital for survival. But many people have a relationship with food that brings anxiety and distress. For some people food is an enemy, for others it’s a friend they can’t do with out and for some it’s both. When a person’s relationship with food interferes with day-to-day living to the extent that their quality of life is significantly compromised, the medical profession often becomes involved and a diagnosis of an eating disorder may be given.
A diagnosis is helpful for some people because it allows them to name their problem, but others find it disempowering when friends and family only see the diagnosis, not the person behind it. Others describe the sufferer in terms of their diagnostic label: “She is bulimic”, “He is anorexic”, “She is obese”, for example. For some people, the diagnostic label becomes a source of identity – they lose sight of who they really are.
I do not diagnose eating disorders but if you feel you may be suffering from an eating disorder or if you have already been diagnosed with one, counselling can help you discover the real “you” behind the food – someone who has the capacity to be bigger than your problems, someone who can take back control and find a happier relationship with food, and with yourself.