Venteområde Skejby

Here you can read more about eating disorders in children, adolescents and adults.

Thinking about our diet, body shape and weight is not necessarily a problem. And focusing on your body and weight or on what or how much you eat is not unhealthy in itself, as long as it does not compromise normal activities. It is important to be able to see when a general awareness about our body and diet becomes an unhealthy obsession.

In Central Denmark Region, eating disorders are treated at the mental health clinic for eating disorders (Psykiatrisk Klinik for Spiseforstyrrelser, Børn og Unge eller Psykiatrisk Klinik for Spiseforstyrrelser, Voksne), which has departments in Aarhus and Herning.

We hope that the information can help you and your relatives learn more about eating disorders and get treatment if necessary. We recommend that you discuss the contents with relevant relatives, friends and therapists.

What are eating disorders?

An eating disorder is a mental disorder that affects your relationship with food and your weight and body. An eating disorder also affects you psychologically and socially. You will often be tired, sad and have problems concentrating. Many withdraw from friends and family — both to avoid eating situations, but also because they simply cannot manage being with others.

An eating disorder can be expressed in many ways. If you have an eating disorder, your goal may be to:

  • focus so much on food that you avoid having to think about negative things in your life
  • be thin or to have a specific weight
  • to eat extremely healthily or in a specific way

You may not yourself think that anything is wrong. Therefore, you do not feel that you need help.

Why do some people develop an eating disorder?

There is no single reason why some people develop an eating disorder. Below you can read about different risk factors.

Vindue på værelse i psykiatrien skejby

Symptoms of eating disorders

Examination for an eating disorder

Kvinde læser

Concomitant disorders

Treatment of eating disorders

Dreng og pige spiller playstation

Treatment of BED

Treatment of anorexia

Treatment of bulimia

Hospitalisation for anorexia and bulimia

The vast majority are treated without hospitalisation. However, in very severe anorexia and bulimia, inpatient treatment may be necessary. If you are aged under 18, your parents will participate in the treatment and attend daily meals during your hospitalisation.

The inpatient treatment includes three important elements:

  • Support for normalisation of eating and weight
  • Treatment focused on supporting you in working with your thoughts, feelings and behaviour that underlie and maintain the eating disorder
  • Support to recover the resources and life content that are a prerequisite for a well-functioning everyday life.

The better you feel, the more responsibility you will have. You will therefore be more actively involved in:

  • Planning and preparation of food
  • Training in eating with others, alone, together with your family and with others outside the ward
  • Planning of home visits

Daily life in the ward is structured around a regular weekly programme, with many of the activities taking place in groups. By interacting in groups, you can relearn abilities that you have lost due to your eating disorder. This applies in relation to eating, body perception and to how you function with others.

Examples of group activities are:

  • Therapy in conversation group
  • Image therapy group
  • Body and movement
  • Eating diary group.

Your relatives are involved throughout your hospitalisation, so that you can work together against your anorexic thoughts and actions in connection with home visits, subsequent discharge and continued outpatient treatment.

After treatment

Advice for people with an eating disorder

Advice for relatives

Text on this page updated November 2021 (version 1.05).

Most recently revised by Line Ranzau Hansen, Senior Consultant at Psychiatric Clinic for Eating Disorders. 

Direct link: