According to the mental health charity Mind, there are no easily identifiable or definable reasons as to why eating disorders develop, but the charity say that a common factor among many who have a disorder is low self-esteem. Mind point out that not only can people of any age or background and of either sex develop an eating disorder, there are as many as a million people in the UK who are affected, so it;s important to know that if you have an eating disorder, you're not alone.
Mind also have a useful page on how to get help for an eating disorder, which details the range of different treatments that are available plus the steps to go through if you're looking for support and advice. The first thing they advise is that you see your doctor who can then make sure that any weight loss or other symptoms aren't connected to any other underlying health problems.
The various forms of help available include talking therapies, where the patient receives counselling. Talking therapies are so-called because they focus on helping people discuss and address negative feelings. Often it's really just applied as a slightly more modern/ descriptive term for counselling. Having said this, counselling is just one type of talking treatment - the other types include pyschotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
This week AXA PPP healthcare are holding a live discussion on hidden eating disorders where their resident expert will be on hand to answer your questions. The live chat takes place between 11am and 1pm on Thursday 16th May. If your question relates to any aspect of eating disorders such as diagnosis or treatment, then head along to the live chat and you'll be able to ask the expert in person.