What is an Eating Disorder?

Lots of people like to control their eating in some way. This is quite a normal human habit. Whether it be trying different diets to lose a bit of weight or deciding not to eat something for a little while because it makes you feel a bit rubbish. Perhaps you’re vegetarian or there are some foods you just don’t like. These kinds of behaviours don’t mean you’re suffering from an eating disorder. An eating disorder is much more than that. It controls your life and can often make you very unwell. There are all sorts of different eating disorders but Anorexia and Bulimia are the ones you might have heard of.


is when you don’t eat enough and your body weight
drops to a worrying level.


is when you eat a lot of food (binge) and then
make yourself sick or use laxatives.

Eating Disorders - Ellie's Safe House
There are other eating disorders too which include restricting what you eat and avoiding certain types of food which means you don’t eat enough, or binge eating disorder which means you eat erratically, and it can be really upsetting.

If you think you might be suffering from an eating disorder, ask yourself a couple of questions

  • Do you think about food ALL of the time?
  • Do you control what you eat throughout the day?
  • Do you panic about what food you’re eating?
  • Do you make yourself sick after eating?
  • Have you lost a lot of weight?

Did you answer yes to any of the questions above?  If so, it might be a good idea to consider getting some help.  Eating disorders can be really scary and it’s best to get help earlier rather than later.

How do you know if you or someone you care about is suffering from one?

Here are some of the symptoms to look out for with eating disorders:


  • Obsessing over what you look like
  • Being hungry but not eating
  • Eating too much, even when you’re not hungry
  • Trying all sorts of different diets
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Making lots of excuses to get out of eating
  • Excessive exercise
  • Making yourself sick
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Hiding what you eat
  • Telling lies about what you’re eating
  • Starving yourself
Eating Disorders? find out more at Ellie's Safe House

What to do if you think you or someone you love might be affected?

Eating disorders can really affect your life. And if left untreated can be really dangerous. They can cause all sorts of health complications so it’s really important that you get help as soon as you can. It can also really affect the people around you. Parents, family and friends often want to help but don’t know how to.


If you need help you can try a number of things:

    • Drop us an email and we’ll try and put you in touch with someone who you can talk to
    • Talk to somebody you trust, a friend or family member. Make sure you’re honest about how it’s affecting you.
    • Contact your Doctor. Doctors are trained to help with problems just like this and they know where you can go to get further help 

There are also some fantastic websites out there including BEAT Eating Disorders. They will be able to offer you a lot of resources to help you get through this. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THEIR WEBSITE

What it’s like to suffer from Anorexia

Everybody’s journey is different when it comes to eating disorders. No two people are the same. But the one thing that is the same, is that it controls your life- no matter which eating disorder you are suffering from. It makes you withdraw from your friends and family. It makes you feel tired and irritable. It means you can’t live your life in the way that you used to. Anorexia is when you don’t eat enough to sustain your body and you lose a lot of weight. This means you have no energy and even getting up each day is an effort. You’re cold and so hungry that all you think about is food. It means you’re susceptible to all sorts of other illnesses too, like colds, tummy bugs and flu. Your body just isn’t strong enough to cope with them. Perhaps you’re a bit obsessive with exercise too, which means you can damage your body because you’re just not eating enough for that kind of lifestyle. There is hope though, there are people out there who can help you. Even if you think they can’t. They’ll talk through your problem with you, they’ll help you come up with ways to change your thought process and they’ll also give you help to get back on track. It’s also important that you don’t deal with this alone. Anorexia is a really lonely illness and by getting help you’re sharing that problem and it makes a real difference.

Anorexia - Ellie's Safe House
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