Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses and may be life threatening.
They affect people both physically and emotionally.
There are many reasons why a young person can become affected by an eating disorder. These include social factors, such as what we see in magazines or peer pressure and comparing ourselves to other people. There are some genetic links to eating disorders and other stressors may play a role too, such as exams, transitions or relationship concerns.
The most common eating disorders are ‘anorexia nervosa’ and ‘bulimia nervosa’. Other food-related disorders, like binge eating disorder can also be problematic for some young people.
Who can develop an Eating Disorder?
Adolescent girls, right? Wrong! ANYONE!! Eating disorders can affect anyone irrelevant of age, gender, religion and cultural background.
We know sometimes factors such as being male or from a BME community can hinder people seeking help as they may worry they won’t be taken seriously or their behaviour will be seen as normal for their community. It’s important that anyone affected by eating disorder has the opportunity to get support early, to help make sense of and manage the very difficult effects of the eating disorder.
Can you recover from an Eating Disorder?
YES! With the right support to help you mentally and physically it is possible to overcome an eating disorder. Getting help early can really boost chances of making a full and lasting recovery.
Recovery is unique to each individual. However, it generally means living a life where your thoughts are not dominated by calories or the number on the scales. It’s living a life that were you enjoy spending time with the people you love, doing the things you love whilst eating free of guilt.
If you’re worried about yourself or a friend, please go and see your GP as soon as possible.
How to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
Find help in your local area
Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.