Do I have an Eating Disorder?

Boys, girls, men and women from all types of background and ethnic groups can suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders are a way of coping with feelings that are making you unhappy or depressed. It may be difficult to face up to and talk about, feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, loss or fear. An eating disorder is a sign that you need help in coping with life, and sorting personal problems.

Conditions as complex as eating disorders mean that there are variations in the typical signs, and not all symptoms will apply to all people. You may feel that you have a mixture of anorexia and bulimia, or alternate between them. Some people also find they are affected by an urge to harm themselves or abuse alcohol or drugs.

Even if you don't have these symptoms if you are worried and upset by something, anything, it is important you find someone to talk to. Don't bottle it all up.

Eating Disorders do not include food allergies, selective eating issues or disorders of the digestive system. However, a G.P should be the first point of call for these issues as well as for eating disorders.

Symptoms of Anorexia

 Physical signs

 Behavioural signs

  Psychological signs

 Severe weight loss

 Wanting to be left alone

 Intense fear of gaining weight

 Periods stopping (Amenorrhoea)

 Wearing big baggy clothes


 Hormonal changes in men and boys

 Excessive exercising

 Feeling emotional

 Difficulty sleeping

 Lying about eating meals

 Obsession with dieting


 Denying there is a problem

 Mood swings

 Stomach pains

 Difficulty concentrating

 Distorted perception of body weight and size


 Wanting to have control

 Thinking about food all the time

 Poor circulation & feeling cold


 Feeling guilty after eating

Symptoms of Bulimia

 Physical signs

  Behavioural signs

  Psychological signs

Sore throat / swollen glands

 Eating large quantities of food

 Feeling ashamed, depressed and guilty

 Stomach pains

 Being sick after eating

 Feeling out of control

 Mouth infections

 Being secretive

 Mood Swings

 Irregular periods

 Abusing laxatives

 Feeling guilty after eating

 Dry or poor skin



 Difficulty sleeping



 Sensitive or damaged teeth



Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Physical signs

Behavioural signs

Psychological signs

Weight gain

Eating large quantities of food

Feeling depressed and out of control


Eating inappropriate food

Mood swings


Being secretive

Emotional behaviour



 Feeling guilty after eating

I have some of these symptoms - what next?
If you have some of these symptoms it is important that you think about talking to somebody and getting some help. To begin with you might just want to find out more information. You can find more information on different types of eating disorders here

  • Helpline
    634 1414
  • Youthline
    634 7650 - Search the web and raise money for charity

Message boardWant to talk to other people affected by an eating disorder?

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