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.
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.