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:
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
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
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.
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: