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Coping with an eating disorder

Label on a mirror - Warning, Reflections in theis mirror may be distorted by socially constructed ideas of 'beauty'
Illustration: Emily Cuthbert - Cambridge Regional College

Everyone comments on the fact that you are putting on weight which is making you feel bad about yourself.† You find yourself spending less time with your friends because they either get at you about your size or just donít seem to include you in things as much as they used to.† The only thing that seems to make you feel better is eating the things you like and you decide that if itís making you feel better maybe itís OK to indulge yourself for a while until you feel happier.† Itís coming up to the year ball and you go into town to buy that special outfit.† At the shops you get depressed because you canít find anything you like in your size.

What do you do next?

  • Go on a crash diet so you can get the outfit you want
  • Talk to someone about how you are feeling
  • Just forget about going to the ball

Read on to find out which of these options you should or shouldnít takeÖÖ.

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Go on a crash diet so you can get the outfit you want

Well, it might work for you but most people who start these kind of diets either give up or end up putting any weight lost back on so the odds are against this being successful.† Also any serious dieting should only be started after talking to your doctor as they can have long term negative effects on your body if you donít do things properly.† If you donít do anything else, eating a little less and exercising a bit more is a safe way to loose some weight but try to avoid crash diets.

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Talk to someone about how you are feeling

Everybody occasionally treats himself or herself to food they like and there is nothing wrong with this. However if it starts to be something you do more often you could be relying on this to mask what is making you feel unhappy which wonít solve the problem and will probably make you put on more weight.† A more effective solution is to talk to someone about how you are feeling, This could be a teacher at school, your school nurse, a youth worker or your doctor.† If you donít feel comfortable talking to someone face to face about this you could contact one of the helplines in the featured links section on the right hand side of this page.

Just forget about going to the ball

Itís understandable that going to the ball may make you feel even worse so only you can decide if you should go or not but just remember this is going to make the problem go away so you still need to do something about the way you are feeling.

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