Food plays an important part in everyone’s lives, but for some people it can become a source of worry, anxiety, shame or embarrassment. Obsessive thoughts, behaviours or actions around food or body image are all symptoms of an eating disorder.
Eating disorders affect men as well as women.
It can be really difficult for people with eating disorders to get better on their own: eating disorders are often very isolating and sufferers may feel that their disorder needs to be kept a secret.
The most important step is to tell someone: anyone you can trust and feel comfortable talking to. This could be:
There are lots of ways to get help:
It’s important to remember that you’re not a professional, but there are things that you can do to help:
If you’re worried about a friend’s eating or their relationship with food generally, it can feel overwhelming. It’s important to support your friend, but don’t take on more than you feel you can handle.
There are some key points to remember:
Student Minds is a national charity focusing, amongst other issues, on supporting students with eating disorders. They have a really useful guide to supporting friends here.