Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

Eating Disorder

Eating disorders can be serious, complex, mental health conditions that affect you emotionally, physically and socially and can involve focusing too much on weight, body image and developing an unhealthy relationship with food which affects the ability to get the nutrition your body and brain needs.

Unfortunately the warning signs are often missed – weight loss, negative relationships with food and over-exercising can be seen as a diet craze, a health kick or a phase.

Changes in eating behaviours such as increased eating or reduced dietary intake can reduce serotonin important for brain function which has a central role in reducing anxiety and depression.

There are many recognised disordered eating and disorders and you can get help locally with or without a clinical diagnosis if you feel you are struggling with such as:

  • Anorexia – keeping weight as low as possible by not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both
  • Bulimia – eating abnormally large amounts of food in one sitting
  • Binge eating disorder – when a person feels compelled to overeat on a regular basis
  • Avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) – avoiding certain foods or types of food
  • Other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED) – this accounts for the highest percentage of eating disorders and anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background can experience it
  • Orthorexia – avoiding specific foods that you believe to be harmful
  • Compulsive exercise – uncontrollable behaviours resulting in injuries and impaired social relations

Due to the complexity of eating disorders it is not possible to do a self-referral for this via this website. However you can self-refer to a specialist at First Steps ED who will assess your request for support via A self referral will have the same result as asking your GP to refer you.

Please also take a look through the self help resources below, which may be able to offer you additional support.

Self referral

It is not possible to self refer for this condition.

Contact your GP (between 8am to 6pm) for a GP referral or if you require urgent help then you can refer yourself to the Central Access Point (CAP) on their 24-hour phone line on 0808 800 3302. Please note however that the CAP line is not an emergency service. Where there is an immediate, serious, and life-threatening emergency, call 999 or attend A&E.

If you do not require urgent or emergency help then please make an appointment to see your GP.  Please also read the advice on this page and the self help resources below.

Self help resources

We have put together a list of specialist organisations that may be able to offer you additional support.

View self help resources