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Eating disorders

Anorexia, bulimia and overeating are potentially life-threatening diseases involving the mind and body. If you:

  • constantly think about food and weight
  • are always checking the scales 
  • use food to cope with difficult feelings  
  • lie about the food you eat
  • feel depressed and self critical may have an eating disorder. 

When a person has anorexia, they may severely limit their food intake, use laxatives or over exercise to maintain an unhealthy body weight.  Bulimia combines overeating with the use of vomiting, laxatives and excessive exercise. Some people compulsively eat large amounts of food or eat inappropriate food. For many people with an eating disorder, food brings up feelings of guilt, anger and shame. At the same time, the disorder can be a person's way of coping with painful feelings such as anger or distress. 

Eating disorders can be very difficult to manage on your own but there are experienced people who can listen and offer support.  Your GP can refer you for specialist help, or you might contact one of the organisations listed below for more information and support.

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