Eating issues

An eating disorder is a preoccupation and obsession with food, eating, body image and appearance.

It is more than simply being aware of the importance of a healthy diet. If your preoccupation affects your life, causing you to change your habits and behaviour, this is commonly known as an eating disorder.

How do I know if I have an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are far more complex than simply a desire to be thin. Different eating disorders will affect people in different ways and people with eating issues can become adept at hiding their problems.

Symptoms of eating disorders can vary, you may present with some and not others. If you’re concerned that you may have an eating disorder, Northumberland NHS has provided an excellent self-help guide on eating disorders, which includes a questionnaire you can take as a rough guide to your eating difficulties.

What can I do to help myself?

You may feel that food is the one thing in your life you can control but, without help, eating disorders can have many negative physical and mental consequences. It may help to make a list of all the reasons you want to change, either now, or at some point in the future.

BEAT eating disorders charity

BEAT, the national eating disorders charity, has a helpline to encourage and empower people to get help quickly and can be contacted online or by phone 365 days a year. 

BEAT will listen to you, help you to understand the illness, and support you to take positive steps towards recovery. They also support family and friends, equipping them with essential skills and advice, so they can help their loved ones recover whilst also looking after their own mental health. 

Self-refer onto one of the help programmes and find out how you can get information and support.

How can we help?

If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, complete the Open Door online referral form - see help and support for more information - or speak to your doctor.

Your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options and explore with you the underlying issues that may have led to your eating disorder.

Help and support