Looking after your mental health if you have an eating disorder
Eating disorders are a mental illness that can affect anyone, at any age, gender, ethnicity or background, at any time.
If you have an eating disorder, it’s important to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Support is available.
We’ve teamed up with our friends at Beat Eating Disorders to provide some tips and resources for ways you can get support if you have an eating disorder.
There is support out there for you. You don’t have to fight this on your own.
Tips from Beat if you have an eating disorder
Contact your GP
Many people feel anxious about this step, as they aren’t sure what to expect or feel their GP may not understand. That’s ok, and if you too feel this way you are not alone. Beat’s GP Advice Leaflet can help you prepare for an appointment and with what to say.
Explore local services
It can be useful to have a look at what local support is available to you, which you can do via Beat’s Helpfinder tool. This lets you to use your postcode to search and find local eating disorders services that may be helpful, such as specialist therapists or support groups.
Create your own coping strategies
Having a self-care box or coping strategy bank will keep all your tools in one place which can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or finding things difficult. These strategies or tools might include BLAST advice, useful contact numbers (such as Shout 85258), a music playlist, colouring books or a cuddly toy – things that help you to feel safe and comfortable.
Eating disorders can cause you to feel isolated and alone. If you are feeling this way, please know that there is support out there for you and you don’t have to fight this on your own. Whether you feel able to reach out to a friend or family member, a teacher or work colleague or a helpline or support service, sharing your thoughts and worries can help.
Contact an organisation such as Beat
If you are apprehensive about reaching out to your GP or those around you for support, you can get in touch with the team at Beat. They have a range of support services which are free to use including a helpline, 1-2-1 web chat service, email support and online peer support groups. Beat’s online peer support groups are a great first step in accessing support as they are anonymous, available daily and are a safe space to discuss your worries and concerns.
Text Shout 85258 for free, confidential support
If you are struggling with your eating disorder and feel you have no support around you, Shout is available to provide text support at any time of day or night.
Other useful resources:
Going to the doctor: planning your appointment, what to expect and talking to your GP.
Supporting someone else: information and advice on looking after your own wellbeing while supporting someone with an eating disorder.