Need support for an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that anyone can develop, regardless of age, income and ethnicity. Take a look at some of the common signs of eating disorders and where to go for support if you need help.
Woman with sunglasses eating outdoors

According to Beat Eating Disorders there is an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK with an eating disorder. Eating disorders vary a lot from person to person and can be challenging to identify.

Could I have an eating disorder?   

Some of the common behaviours suggesting you or a family member may have an eating disorder can include:  

  • distorted beliefs about your body;  
  • eating large quantities of food at once;  
  • getting rid of the food eaten through making yourself sick, frequent fasting, going to toilet after meals or other unhealthy means;  
  • a combination of the above.  

If you’re worried about yourself or someone else, seek help as quickly as possible, as this gives the greatest chance of a full recovery.

"As anorexia is an illness that affects the whole family, it is really important that family members of sufferers have support as well as those that are ill themselves.”
— Family member feedback from Hertfordshire’s Community Eating Disorders Service

Where to go for support

Contact your GP
If you think that you have an eating disorder you should contact your local GP. They will ask you about your eating habits and lifestyle. If they think that you might have an eating disorder, they will refer you to a specialist. 

Locally, the Community Eating Disorders Service is run by Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Trust. It offers services to adults with a Hertfordshire GP who have moderate to severe eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and atypical eating disorders including binge eating disorder.

They can be contacted by telephone on 01707 364000 or visit Community Eating Disorders Service.

Talk to a friend or family member
It can be very hard to admit you have a problem and ask for help. Start by talking to a friend or family member. You could even bring them with you to your appointment to make you feel more comfortable.

Talk to an advisor 
Beat - The UK's Eating Disorder Charity - has advisors who can talk to you about the different types of eating disorders and provide information about recovery and the support available to you. Take a look at their website or contact them using the details below: 

Adult Helpline: 0808 801 0677

Youthline: 0808 801 0711

These organisations also offer help and advice to family members and friends of those who have an eating disorder.

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