Types Of Eating Disorders

Roughly 1.6 MILLION people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder – which is about 2% of the total population.

Eating disorders are mental illnesses in which the sufferer’s relationship with food is negatively affected. They can cause physical symptoms and have the highest mortality rate of any other type of mental illness.

There are many different types of eating disorder, the most common ones being Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder (BED), and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED). Contrary to popular belief, Anorexia is actually the least common type of eating disorder – with OSFED being the most common (even though it’s probably the least well-known), followed by Binge Eating Disorder, then Bulimia.


  • Can affect anyone
  • Just as serious as any other eating disorder
  • Sufferers are diagnosed with OSFED if their symptoms don’t exactly match those of Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorder
  • Symptoms can still be similar to other eating disorders
  • There may be NO visible physical symptoms (eating disorders are mental illnesses after all!)
  • Comes with all the same risks as specific eating disorders

Some specific examples of OSFED (information taken from Beat):

  • Atypical Anorexia: where someone has all the symptoms doctors look for to diagnose Anorexia Nervosa, but their weight remains within a “normal” range.
  • Bulimia Nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration): where someone has all the symptoms of Bulimia, except the binge/purge cycles don’t happen as often or over as long a period of time as doctors would expect.
  • Binge Eating Disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration): where someone has all of the symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder, except the binges don’t happen as often or over as long a period of time as doctors would expect.
  • Purging Disorder: where someone purges, for example by being sick or using laxatives, to affect their weight or shape, but this isn’t as part of binge/purge cycles.
  • Night Eating Syndrome: where someone repeatedly eats at night, either after waking up from sleep, or by eating a lot of food after their evening meal.

OSFED is the most common type of eating disorder and Anorexia is the least.

Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Can affect anyone
  • Not just about being thin
  • Sufferers have an (unhealthily) low body weight due to restricting how much they eat
  • Often causes people to have a distorted view of their bodies, such as believing they are “fat” even when they are underweight
  • Causes an intense fear of gaining weight
  • Some people might do excessive amounts of exercise to try and lose more weight
  • Some people might go through cycles of binging (eating lots of food during a short amount or time, until uncomfortably full) and then purging
  • Can create a sense of “control”
  • Often linked to very low self-esteem


  • Can affect anyone
  • People usually stay at a “normal” weight
  • Sufferers are trapped in a cycle of binging, and then purging (eg. using laxatives, making themselves sick, fasting, or doing excessive exercise) to try to counteract how much they’ve eaten
  • Sufferers often feel very guilty, anxious, or ashamed after eating – especially after a binge
  • Some people have a distorted view of themselves and see themselves as being bigger than they are
  • Some people may ’emotional eat’ – where they binge to stop themselves from having to feel/concentrate on a negative emotion or experience
  • Often causes people to feel “stuck” or “out of control”

Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Can affect anyone
  • Sufferers regularly binge and feel as though they’ve lost control and can’t stop eating, even though they want to
  • Often causes people to feel very distressed and guilty during and after binging
  • Binges are often planned out in advance
  • Sufferers don’t usually purge after binging
  • Can cause weight gain
  • Sufferers often eat to distract themselves from feeling negative emotions
  • NOT the same thing as just “overindulging” or choosing to eat bigger portions



We can be so much more than who mental illness has made us. Get help now:


Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018

Today is the start of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

For 2018 Beat’s campaign for eating disorder awareness is “Why Wait?”. On average, adults suffering from eating disorder symptoms wait almost 3 YEARS before seeking help. It’s been shown that the faster people get treatment for eating disorders, the more likely they are to fully recover – although I know it still doesn’t make it easy! Getting help early isn’t a sign of weakness, personally I think it’s very brave. Especially seeing as eating disorder behaviours tend to be carried out in secret, and because there’re a lot of false stereotypes surrounding them! However, I believe that recovery is still possible for everyone – no matter how long you’ve waited to get help.

As some of you might already know, in January 2017 I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (however I wasn’t told about my diagnosis until November 2017, as CAMHS don’t want to put “labels” on people incase it makes their condition worse). Since then I’ve been going to CAMHS weekly for therapy to help me get better. It’s been a long process as I’d struggled with low self-esteem and disordered eating for a long time, however it wasn’t until around summer 2016 that I actually developed Anorexia.

There’s a common misconception that people with eating disorders don’t like food. But that honestly couldn’t be more wrong.

Even in the depths of my disorder I still loved food – if you’d looked on my Pinterest at that time you’d have seen I’d posted hundreds of recipes on multiple different boards. I thought about food constantly. My life literally revolved around it. I had so many rules I *had* to follow about what I could and couldn’t eat, how much I was allowed to eat, when I could eat – I even tried to control where I ate and who with! I became obsessed with counting calories and exercise and logged EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I thought I was going crazy, and I guess in a way, I was. Eating disorders are mental illnesses after all.

But eating disorders aren’t really about food and they’re not always about being thin either – despite what people might think. For many, eating disorders are about control, about trying to feel better about yourself, or about trying to live up to your own impossibly high standards.

I wouldn’t wish an eating disorder on my worst enemy.

Having one is literally like being trapped in a living nightmare. They make you isolate yourself from everyone – especially your family and friends. They make your hair get thin and fall out and your nails turn blue. They can cause/worsen Depression and Anxiety. They make you feel in control, and then so far out of it that you think you’ll never be able to get back on track.

They make you look, and feel, like death.

Not everyone with an eating disorder becomes emaciated (side note: only a very small percentage of Anorexia cases reach the stage of those we see in the media), but your body still suffers so much internal damage – you can actually put yourself at risk of osteoporosis and organ failure..! I was never severely underweight, but I was definitely unhealthy and I was even told that at one point I actually looked grey.

We need to raise awareness of how dangerous and serious eating disorders are. They are not pretty, they are not something to be admired, and they are certainly NOT a choice. But recovery is.

Choosing recovery has been the most scary, but also the best thing I have ever done. I’m so glad I got help when I did as it’s meant that I’m now in a much better position for leaving home and heading to university after the summer! However, although I’ve come a long way since last year, and I’m physically healthy, I know I’ve still got much further to go to fully recover mentally.

And that’s the thing most people don’t realise about eating disorders – they don’t just stop being an issue just because you’re a “normal” weight. You have to keep choosing recovery. Over, and over, and over again.

I’m choosing to get better every day because I’m sick of trying to live up to Anorexia’s ideals. I want a life that’s about more than just numbers. Because life IS about more than just numbers! It’s about spending time with loved ones. Treating yourself to an extra slice of cake because YOU want it. Hearing the sound of rain against your window at night. Picking up the clean laundry when it’s still warm from the tumble dryer. The smell of freshly made bread…

Life is about noticing the small things that make you happy and doing the things that you love!

If you’re reading this and you’re struggling, reach out. Talk to a parent, friend, teacher – talk to me if you need to. Just speak to someone. I promise you, it will be worth it.



We can be so much more than who mental illness has made us. Get help now:

Book Reviews

Hello everyone!

I’ve been reading a lot recently, so have decided I’m going to do some book reviews. I’ll be writing and putting them up in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out..!

Hope you all had a merry Christmas and are having a wonderful new year so far.

Love, Hanz xx

P.S. sorry for the neglect on here over the past few months, I’ve been posting a lot on my tumblr, but will try to do a bit of a life/recovery update on here soon.

An Update



Thought I’d do a mini update for you all as I haven’t been active on here in FOREVER (oops!).


  • I passed all my Higher exams and I’ve applied to study Medicine at university – I’m still waiting to hear back. I also applied for Psychology at Stirling University and I received an unconditional offer – say what?!
  • I’ve had a few slip ups with my anorexia recovery, and it’s especially difficult right now, but ultimately I’m still working on recovery and I’m fighting to be here and LIVE every day.
  • I’ve got my anxiety pretty much under control these days – which is HUGE!!! Therapy has really been helping with this.
  • I’m feeling much more confident in myself (not so much with how I look, but with who I am as a person).
  • I’m extremely excited for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! This year has gone so quickly and it’s nearly here again..!


I post a lot more frequently on my Tumblr these days, so please check out my posts on there if you want to keep updated with my fun-filled (just kidding) life!


Hope you’re all well, what’s been going on with you recently? Let me know!




Han xxx

30 Days of Blogging: Day 15

Day 15:  Do you have a favourite season? What is it and why?

I don’t have a particular favourite season – I like them all for different reasons..!
Here’s why I like them:

  • Spring – new lambs, Easter (chocolate..!), fresh leaves and flowers, pastel colours, my birthday!!
  • Summer – warmer weather, days spent at the beach, ice cream, floaty summer clothes
  • Autumn – THE COLOURS, Halloween, bonfire night, going to Fèis Rois
  • Winter – snow, cosy jumpers, yummy food, log fires in the evenings, Christmas, New Year’s Eve


EDIT: I didn’t manage to keep up with 30 Days of Blogging because I was too busy and didn’t get time. This is the last post.

30 Days of Blogging: Day 13

Day 13:  What is you favourite quote, or a quote that means a lot to you?

The quote that means the most to me is “You are enough. A thousand times enough.”
I like this quote because it reminds me that I don’t need to be anything more than myself. Often, I feel under a huge pressure to live up to mine, and others’, impossibly high standards for myself. So for me, this quote shows me that it’s okay to just be me. I don’t have to be what other people think I should be. I don’t have to act like something I’m not. And I definitely don’t have to be perfect – no one is perfect!