Psychiatrist, Dr Ed O'Mahony spoke about eating disorders.
Dr Ed O'Mahony, consultant psychiatrist with the Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Service has spoken candidly about eating disorders that can impact people's lives at this year's Leitrim's Health Is Wealth in Carrick-on-Shannon.
He spoke of how those with eating disorders experience a change in not just their behaviour, but also their mental health.
"The notion of stopping what they are doing is very, very difficult to contemplate because they would feel out of control, completely. And the notion of change or the idea of introducing the concept of normality becomes a terrifying idea," he said.
Dieting and low self esteem are the big risk factors for developing and eating disorder, especially in someone who is young, said Dr Mahony.
What are the signs of an eating disorder?
What can you do if someone you know may have an eating disorder?
- Inform yourself about eating disorders and the warning signs.
- Approach the person as sensitively as you can and just listen. Ask about their feelings rather than talk about their appearance and you must try to not be judgemental.
- Don't try and fix the problem - you are not going to, it's not going to be a quick fix.
- You have to acknowledge the emotional difficulties even if you don't understand them.
- The website www.bodywhys.ie is an excellent starting point and also speak with your local GP.