What are eating disorders and where can Channel Islanders get help?

  • Jennifer Browne from Mind Jersey explaining what support is available to people living with a mental illness.

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses. Anyone, no matter what their age, gender, or background, can develop one.

Symptoms for the following eating disorders include:

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Denying that you feel hungry, despite not eating

  • Being obsessed with losing weight

  • Counting calories meticulously

  • Hiding food or secretly throw it away

  • Completely avoiding high-calorie foods

  • Making yourself sick

  • Exercising excessively

  • Using drugs that reduce your appetite or speed up your digestion

  • Wearing baggy clothes to cover up any weight loss, or to keep warm

  • Believing that you look fat although you are considered underweight by other people

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Eating in binges (excessive quantities all in one go)

  • Starving yourself after eating

  • Making yourself sick or use laxatives (known as ‘purging’)

  • Thinking constantly about eating

  • Eating in secret

  • Having irresistible cravings for certain foods

  • Thinking of yourself as fat

Compulsive and Binge Eating

Compulsive eating often occurs when someone relies on food for emotional support. A compulsive eater may pick at food all day or find themselves eating without thinking about it. They may also use food to cheer themselves up. Compulsive eaters often deal with problems in life by denying there’s anything wrong.

Binge eating is eating very large quantities of (often) high-calorie food all in one go. The binges are often triggered by some serious upset.

> More information on eating disorders can be found on Mind Jersey's website.

Islanders who think they might have an eating disorder should contact their GP as a first port of call.

Islanders in Jersey can also contact the Adult Mental Health Services - Eating Disorder Pathway on 01534 445841.

Children and Teenagers in both islands may be referred to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Islanders can also contact their local Mind charity: