NHS Lanarkshire experts have been promoting the support available to those suffering with anorexia and bulimia as part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
An eating disorder is a serious mental health condition which affects more than 1.6 million people in the UK.
The NHS Lanarkshire Tier 3 Eating Disorders Specialist Service (TESS) provides a county wide, specialist service to people requiring intensive community based treatment for eating disorders.
Dr. Hermione Thornhill, consultant clinical psychologist and TESS team leader, said: “Eating disorders are a serious mental health condition not an extreme diet or a fad for the fashion conscious.
“Eating disorders can affect anyone, male or female, of any age but the groups most at risk are teenage girls and young women.”
The TESS team consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, specialist nurses and occupational therapists. They work alongside community mental health teams to deliver specialist support in the community, helping to prevent, manage and overcome problems and reduce the need for some patients to have lengthy stays in hospital.
Dr. Thornhill, “Without treatment of both emotional and physical aspects of eating disorders, people can suffer from malnutrition, heart problems and other potentially fatal conditions.
“With proper help and support, those suffering from eating disorders can resume healthier eating habits and return to better emotional and psychological health. Anyone who thinks they might have an eating disorder or would like help should contact their GP in the first instance.”