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Eating Disorders

What is an eating disorder?

People who use the control of food to cope with their feelings and situations have an eating disorder.

Anyone can develop this form of complex mental illness, regardless of their background, age, ethnicity or gender.

Unhealthy eating behaviours may include eating too little or too much and worrying about your body shape or weight.

Examples include: 

  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • Bulimia
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Anorexia

There’s no one cause and individuals may not present for a particular diagnosed eating disorder.

Many people’s symptoms don’t exactly match what doctors check for.

Often people receive the diagnosis of ‘other specified feeding or eating disorder’ (OSFED), which still needs to be taken very seriously.

Over time symptoms can change, and therefore a diagnosis can too. For example, someone diagnosed with anorexia, could later fit with a diagnosis of bulimia.

Do I have an eating disorder?

If you have landed on this page, you may be wondering if you have an eating disorder.

You may have lots of questions you’d like to ask someone who can help and you may wish to discuss your thoughts and feelings.

Also, if other people say they’re concerned about you or think you have an eating disorder, and you disagree. This may be causing conflict and you may wish to talk this over too.

With professional treatment, most people will recover from an eating disorder.

How we can help

We’ve partnered up with the charity tastelife which is a supportive and educational charity that informs about eating disorders. tastelife is about just that: tasting life. They believe in breaking free from eating disorders and rediscovering life in all its fullness.
We work with tastelife to deliver confidential, weekly face-to-face and online group courses for sufferers and their friends and family that last eight weeks. The course includes teaching, discussion, stories of recovery, and tools for life.

The course is non-threatening, educational, and encourages a self-help approach that really works. It is run in the community by people who have had lived experience and care about those who struggle with eating disorders. The course uses interactive and motivational methods to explain how people can make changes in small steps towards health and wholeness.

The sessions cover:

  • living to eat or eating to live
  • self-image and addiction, emotions and mind matters.
  • They also include resources and self-awareness exercises to do at home.

Attendees are invited to book spaces for free, there is no barrier to access for this course. However, those who can make a £40 suggested donation to the charity to cover all eight sessions are asked to do so.

If you would like to sign up for a place on our next tastelife eight-session course in the new year, please get in touch today.

More help and support

If you or anyone else is struggling and you would like to speak to someone, the charity Beating Eating Disorders has a dedicated helpline.

If you, or someone else is in immediate danger, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

We’re offering places on an eight-session Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating course starting April 26th 2022

Southampton Peer Support Network for people with Eating Difficulties