Are Eating disorders mental illnesses

January 15, 2016
What is an eating disorder?

If you are worried you may have an eating problem we advise you contact your family doctor (GP). Your doctor may not be an expert in treating eating disorders, but he/she will be able to assess any physical problems resulting from your eating disorder and can also help you to contact specialist eating disorder services.

Specialist help

The most successful treatment for eating disorders in the longer term may be by talking to a specialist who can help with your emotional needs and can help you take control of your eating. ‘Talking treatments’ such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are generally considered to be the most effective way of treating eating disorders because they deal with the deeper emotional issues rather than simply with the obvious problems.

Help from carers

If someone you care about has an eating disorder, or is starting to show some of the symptoms, it is important that you let them know you are available for any help or support they ask for. You can offer suggestions, such as reading about the condition or joining a self-help group, but they have to make the decisions or their fear of being controlled will increase.


There are a number of self-help books available in the shops. You can use these on your own, with a friend or with help from your GP or practice nurse. These books can be very helpful in describing strategies for improving your eating habits. They are generally written by medical experts but draw on the experience of people who have eating disorders.

See also:
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Eating Disorder Awareness PSA - Santa Cruz
Eating Disorder Awareness PSA - Santa Cruz
Eating Disorders Are Not Glamorous
Eating Disorders Are Not Glamorous
Eating Disorder Awareness PSA - UC Irvine
Eating Disorder Awareness PSA - UC Irvine
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