Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses. Anyone, no matter what their age, gender, or background, can develop one.
Some examples of eating disorders include bulimia, binge eating disorder, and anorexia. There’s no single cause and people might not have all symptoms for any one eating disorder.
Many people are diagnosed with “other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED), which means that their symptoms don’t exactly match what doctors check for to diagnose binge eating disorder, anorexia, or bulimia, but doesn’t mean that it’s not still very serious.
If you’re worried about someone then it’s important to encourage them to seek treatment as quickly as possible to ensure the best chance of recovery. But beyond that, there’s a lot you can do to support someone with an eating disorder, no matter what your relationship with them.
Realising that you or someone you know might have an eating disorder can be very frightening, but remember that full recovery is absolutely possible, and Beat is always here to provide support.
Beat has lots of other information that you may find useful if you think you or someone you know has an eating disorder and as you start thinking about getting help:
Learn more about types of eating disorders and symptoms.
If you’re not sure how to tell someone your concerns, you can read about how to tell someone here.
If it’s someone else that you’re worried about, you can read about ways you might raise the issue with them.
Call our Helpline to talk about your concerns from 12.00 pm – 8.00 pm during the week, and 4.00 pm – 8.00 pm on weekends and bank holidays. It's free to call from a landline or mobile. Contact the Helpline on 0808 801 0677 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Youthline on 0808 801 0711 or at email@example.com. You can also get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Client Groups Served
- Children and Young People
- Parent / Carer