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Tips for young people

Anorexia

You're not alone if you're worried about anorexia nervosa. Each year, a large number of young people battle anorexia. It might be really challenging to admit that you have a problem, but once you do, there are many people that can assist you.

What is anorexia?

In anorexia, you worry about your weight, wish to lose weight, and eat progressively less food. Although it's a serious condition, with the correct assistance, you can heal and regain control of your life. 

Restricting your diet may help you feel more in control if circumstances feel out of your control. Restriction of your food intake is not a long-term solution, thus this feeling does not last. 

The idea that anorexia only affects females is a widespread one. This is false; according to studies, men make up about 25% of those who suffer from eating disorders like anorexia.

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Symptoms

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa are both physical and mental.

Feelings and behaviours:

- eating less and less

- exercising too much

- thinking a lot about calories

- feeling panicky about eating in front or others or having a big meal

- feeling fat even though people tell you you're too thin

- obsession with body image and comparing your body to others

- losing interest in things

- low mood and irritability

Physical changes:

  • losing lots of weight quickly

  • periods stopping or being unable to have an erection

  • feeling cold all the time

  • growing new downy hair on your body

  • poor sleep and concentration

  • constipation

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by anorexia nervosa. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.

Treatment

Finding out how much anorexia is harming your physical health is typically the first step in treatment. You can be hospitalised if you have a very low weight so that you can regain strength. 

In order to help you gradually get back to healthy eating habits, your treatment may include counselling, group and family therapy, working with a nutritionist, and receiving support from a mental health team. 

You'll receive assistance in ensuring that you eat enough food and discovering what a healthy weight is. Medication might also be suggested to you.

Life coaching

More information & support 

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Depression

Image by Uday Mittal

Anxiety

Suicidal thoughts

Image by Kat J

Self harm

Image by Adrian Swancar

Get help now

Childline

If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

Opening times:

24/7

0800 11 11

Talk ED

Talk ED is the new name for Anorexia and Bulimia Care. Talk ED offers support to anyone affected by eating disorders.

Talk ED also has real stories, blogs and advicefrom young people with lived experience.

You can book a 1:1 support call here to speak to someone if you're struggling with an eating disorder or if you're worried about someone else via phone, video call, or online chat.

Opening times:

10am - 5pm, Monday - Friday

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You are not alone...

We can assist you whether you want to learn more about how you're feeling and discover strategies for feeling better or if you want to support someone who is having a hard time.

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