It is common for people to worry about their image and how they look to other people. We may be particularly concerned about how much we eat, how this affects our health and how we look. 

If we make ourselves sick, restrict our eating or over-eat to such an extent that it begins to negatively affect our health, we may be diagnosed with an eating disorder.

You can download information leaflets on our Emotional Health Service pages.

Anorexia nervosa

The main symptoms of anorexia are:

  • Obsessive thoughts about diet and weight
  • Starving yourself
  • Thinking you are overweight even when professionals are telling you that you are underweight
  • Feelings of depression and anxiety

Due to a lack of food intake, anorexia can lead to organ failure, and even death.

Bulimia nervosa

The main symptoms of bulimia are:

  • Binge eating followed by purging (trying to get rid of the food).
  • Purging may involve vomiting, taking laxatives or excessive exercise.
  • Feelings of depression and anxiety.

People diagnosed with bulimia may look as if they are at a healthy weight, but their bodies are not absorbing nutrients that the body needs. This can lead to organ failure, and even death.

 

Binge eating

 

The main symptoms of binge eating disorder are:

  • Eating large amounts of food in short periods of time (often when alone to stop others seeing).
  • Excessive weight gain.

Feelings of disgust and guilt in relation to eating.