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  1. ITV Report

Eating disorders - what are they and where do you get help?

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

There's no single cause, and people might not have all symptoms for any one disorder. It's also possible for someone's symptoms, and their diagnosis, to change over time.

HOW DO YOU DEVELOP AN EATING DISORDER?

Eating disorders can be a way of coping with feelings or situations that are making a person unhappy, angry, depressed, stressed or anxious.

Everybody deserves to be taken seriously if they think they have an eating disorder - no matter how big or small - or if they believe a previous disorder maybe returning.

  • Around a quarter of people with eating disorders are male, according to studies.
  • In 2015, 15% of the calls to eating disorder charity Beat's Helpline were about someone aged 40 or over.
  • 80-85% of people with eating disorders are not underweight.

HOW DO I GET HELP?

Beat has some advice about how to tell someone here, or, if it's someone else you're worried about, they have ways to raise the issue with them here.

Beat also has a free Helpline which runs from 12pm – 8pm during the week, and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays. You can call them on 0808 801 0677.

An appointment with your GP is also recommended.

RECOVERY

Without professional help it can be difficult for people to get better on their own.

The first port of call when looking for help is your GP - it's best to be as open as you possible with them.

Once your GP has referred you an expert will assess you and decide on the best treatment plan. You symptoms and diagnosis will affect the kind of treatment you're offered.

  • WATCH IN FULL: AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION

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