One in 10 people in South East London report that they suffer from disordered eating, according to new survey

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Historically, eating disorders have been discussed in a very black and white fashion; either you do or you don’t have one. Whilst this may be beneficial in terms of research and diagnosis, it isn’t particularly helpful for those that sit in the grey area between the two. People in this grey area are often referred [read the full story...]

Focal psychodynamic therapy or CBT vs optimised treatment as usual in outpatients with anorexia

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Anorexia nervosa has long been known to have a poor prognosis and few effective treatments are available (Kaplan and Garfinkel, 1999). Research in this area is limited, particularly in regards to evidence-based guidance.  The NICE eating disorders guidance (2004) is in need of an update, although there is a more recently produced care pathway. Other [read the full story...]

RCT compares two different versions of enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa in an inpatient setting

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A general misconception about anorexia is that it’s just about eating and ‘being thin’, but it’s more complex than that. The illness affects multiple aspects of a person’s life, and often goes hand in hand with other psychological issues such as low mood, or excessive worry. In addition, the jury is still out on the exact [read the full story...]

We all know that the Internet can be a dangerous place for people with eating disorders, but can it also help them get better?

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Chances are you’ve heard of the internet. Unless you’re reading this after it’s been transcribed onto some parchment and brought to you by a psychologically-interested crow in which case you’ve got some further research to do. In terms of eating disorders, most people may associate the internet with those ghastly pro-anorexia sites which for reasons [read the full story...]

Weak evidence from recent review suggests there is no harm when using exercise to treat anorexia nervosa

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Exercise is usually promoted as a healthy behaviour, with government guidelines on how much we should all do per week. At the right levels many people find exercise an enjoyable way to improve their health, but is this always the case? For a particular group of people who have problems with eating and weight, this [read the full story...]

The overall incidence of eating disorders increased between 2000 and 2009, says new register-based UK study

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Eating disorders are chronic conditions associated with high mortality and morbidity as highlighted by a previous Mental Elf blog in 2011. Eating disorders are categorised into three main groups: i. Anorexia Nervosa (AN), ii. Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and iii. Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Using ICD 10 criteria, EDNOS includes atypical AN and atypical BN as well [read the full story...]

Cost effectiveness analysis finds stepped care to be cheaper and more effective than CBT for bulimia nervosa

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Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder; the diagnosis of which requires: persistent preoccupation with eating and an irresistible craving for food, episodes of overeating in which large amounts of food are consumed over a short period of time and potentially attempts to counteract the “fattening” effects of food by self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse. [read the full story...]

Reading well books on prescription: public mental health in action

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Public mental health and wellbeing has gathered greater currency following the publication of No Health without Mental Health in 2011.  Public health is about improving the health of the population through preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health. Local Authorities are now the public sector organisation with lead responsibility for public health and public mental health. [read the full story...]

Yoga for psychiatric disorders: systematic review shows some benefit but more research needed

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Here at Mental Elf HQ, several new pieces of research relating to yoga have come our way.  This blog is the first in a series examining the mental health effects of engaging in yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise (largely comprising physical postures and breathing) which originated in India over 5,000 years ago.  Many [read the full story...]

Antipsychotics don’t help increase weight or reduce symptoms for women with anorexia nervosa

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Evidence-based treatments for mental health conditions have come on in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years. I remember as a young elf, skipping around the country and running workshops on evidence-based mental health; training psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and others. There wasn’t much gold standard evidence to choose from back then and there was [read the full story...]