An eating problem is any kind of relationship with food that you are finding difficult. This problem may be considered as an eating disorder if your behavior meets the medical criteria for a diagnosis. The most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). There is no single cause of eating problems, and sometimes it can be hard to understand why it has become an issue for you. The reasons for your eating problem may be very complex and confusing. Often, the beginning of eating problems can be linked to a stressful event or trauma. This can be because of an accident, abuse, bereavement or family problems such as separation. It could also be because of particular stresses at school or work. Eating disorders often develop at the same time as you are going through major life changes such as moving house, puberty, going to a new school, working out your sexuality, or living independently for the first time. Other people may not understand this, even if they are close friends or family members, and to them the eating problem may seem to have appeared suddenly and without any obvious cause.

Claire is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on