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Eating disorders

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Eating disorders

Page written and resources collated by Emily Wheeler, Senior Wellbeing Practitioner

An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life and make you ill. It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape.

There are a range of treatments that can help people recover from an eating disorder. Men and women of any age can get an eating disorder, but they most commonly affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old. The most common eating disorders are:

  • anorexia nervosa – when you try to keep your weight as low as possible by not eating enough food, exercising too much, or both.
  • bulimia – when you sometimes lose control and eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binging) and are then deliberately sick, use laxatives, restrict what you eat, or do too much exercise to try to stop yourself gaining weight.
  • binge eating disorder (BED) – when you regularly lose control of your eating, eat large portions of food all at once until you feel uncomfortably full, and are then often upset or guilty.
  • other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) – when your symptoms do not exactly match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, but it does not mean it's a less serious illness.

OSFED is the most common, then binge eating disorder and bulimia. Anorexia is the least common.

Self-assessments

To read some of these articles and other resources on our site you will need to register with Togetherall. The process is quick and you only need to do it once.

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Concern about eating

Eating can be a great pleasure in life but for some it’s problematic. Relationships with food can be complex. Take this test if you’re worried about your eating patterns.

Take this test

Downloads

Self-help materials you can print, or download and save.

Resource Description
Eating disorders (Royal Institute of Psychiatry) Information about, who gets eating disorders, what are the signs & symptoms, getting professional help and treatment options, advice with eating and exercise. Links to relevant services.
Eating Disorders (NHS) Further information including the causes of eating disorders.
Eating Disorders self-help (NHS NTW)  Award winning self-help leaflets - available in a variety of formats


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Brighter Bite

Your holistic eating disorder recovery toolkit

Download the app
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Rise up and Recover

An Eating Disorder Monitoring and Management Tool for Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and EDNOS

Download the app
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Calm

relaxation, meditation and help with sleeping

Download the app
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Headspace

Meditation, mindfulness, relaxation.

Download the app

Articles

To read some of these articles and other resources on our site you will need to register with Togetherall. The process is quick and you only need to do it once.

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Q&A What eating disorders do to our minds

If you have an eating disorder, the chances are that it doesn't feel like an illness, it feels like the solution. Togetherall talks to Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of the UK's leading eating disorder charity Beat, about eating disorders and what they do our minds.

Read the article
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Hungry for change

Finding comfort in food is very human – but when does using food to make us feel better turn into an eating problem?

Read the article
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Eating disorders - a conversation with Togetherall and Orri

Togetherall’s Jon Jones speaks with Orri founder and CEO, Kerrie Jones, about the signs to look out for, and the best ways to support someone who may be struggling with an eating disorder.

Read the article

Reading for Wellbeing

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Inside Out: Portrait of an eating disorder by Nadia Shivack

Nadia Shivack was fourteen years old when she met Ed, her eating disorder. Sometimes like an alien in her body, sometimes like a lover, Ed was unpredictable and exciting, but ultimately always dangerous and destructive.

Read the book (SHU library)
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The Disease to Please: Curing the People Pleasing Syndrome by Harriet Braiker

People pleasers are not just nice people who go overboard trying to make everyone happy. Those who suffer from the Disease to Please are people who say "Yes" when they really want to say "No." For them, the uncontrollable need for the elusive approval of others is an addiction. Their debilitating fears of anger and confrontation force them to use "niceness" and "people-pleasing" as self-defense camouflage.

Read the book (buy from amazon)
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8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin

This is no ordinary book on how to overcome an eating disorder. The authors bravely share their unique stories of suffering from and eventually overcoming their own severe eating disorders. Interweaving personal narrative with the perspective of their own therapist-client relationship, their insights bring an unparalleled depth of awareness into just what it takes to successfully beat this challenging and seemingly intractable clinical issue.

Read the book
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The F**K It Diet by Caroline Dooner

From humorist and ex-diet junkie Caroline Dooner, an inspirational guide that will help you stop dieting, reboot your relationship with food, and regain your personal power

Read the book (buy from amazon)
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Overcoming Low Self-Esteem by Melanie Fennell

Low self-esteem can make life difficult in all sorts of ways. It can make you anxious and unhappy, tormented by doubts and self-critical thoughts. It can get in the way of feeling at ease with other people and stop you from leading the life you want to lead. It makes it hard to value and appreciate yourself in the same way you would another person you care about.

Read the book (SHU library)

Places to get help

Local and national organisations and websites.

Resource Description
SYEDA (South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association Specialist support for people with eating disorders - Based in Sheffield, but covering Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster - SYEDA offer group and individual support as well as a lot of information, self help and support for families.
Beat eating disorders National eating disorders charity - comprehensive website with lots of resources. Parent's and young people's helplines, webchat, information, advice, videos and blogs.
Student Health at SHU If you are registered with the Student Medical Centre either at City Campus or at Porter Brook then you can access appointment with the eating disorders specialist nurse.
Anorexia and Bulimia Care Self help groups, face-to-face support, courses and training, helpline, befrienders community, parents and care's online community, information and links to other services.
Young Minds Self help groups, face-to-face support, courses and training, helpline, befrienders community, parents and care's online community, information and links to other services.
Student Minds with First Steps ED  An online support group offering a relaxed and safe space for students with eating difficulties and disorders. 
 First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders | FREED  Easy accessible website about eating and body concerns


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