Eating problems

Here you’ll find answers to some common questions concerning eating problems.

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There can be a number of reasons why problems with eating can occur which may include low self-esteem, perfectionism, feeling inadequate, lacking control in life, low mood, anxiety, trauma.

  • Pressure from the world e.g. cultural/societal pressures to ‘look good’ and ‘fit in’ with norms, involvement in a sport/activity that emphasises body image.
  • Difficulties in relationships with others (conflict/abuse/bullying), difficulties expressing and managing emotions.

Often it is a combination of these that can lead a person to try and find a way to feel better in difficult times. We don’t know all the answers to what can trigger and keep an eating disorder going but we are finding out more that can help.

Eating problems arise when a person tries to feel better about themselves or a difficult situation or feelings by trying to control their weight or shape through what or how they eat.

There are a number of eating problems which come under the umbrella of eating disorders the ones we hear most often are:

  • Anorexia Nervosa where a person will restrict the amount of food they have each day and will usually be underweight as a result of this.
  • Bulimia Nervosa where a person will also restrict what they eat in order to change their weight but will then over eat/binge. They will then usually try to get rid of the calories they have eating by making themselves sick.

While eating problems can be scary and can impact severely on your life it is important to know and remember that they can be treated and that young people can and do get better. What is key is talking about the problems you are dealing with.

Here are some strategies for dealing with eating problems.

Click on the buttons below to find ways to deal with eating problems.

Who can I talk to?

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Someone you trust at school
  • Youth worker
  • Health professional (GP; Counsellor Nurse)
  • Charities and Helplines

Select the underlined topics below to view what resources are available.

If you haven’t already found the help you’re looking for, you can find additional information and services which are more interactive here.

I would like to make a referral to Mental Health Services by completing the online referral form.

Select the underlined topics below to view what resources are available.