Tips for Spotting the First Signs of an Eating Disorder

Anyone of any age, gender, or background can develop an eating disorder, and if you’re worried that you or someone you know might have one, Beat is here to support you. As the UK’s eating disorder charity, we can give you more information so that you feel better prepared to face the illness. It's important to act quickly to ensure the best chance of recovery.

We can also provide you with direct support through our Helplines, email help, and instant messaging service, while our online support groups allow you to talk with others who have had similar experiences.

We strongly recommend that you make an appointment with a doctor as quickly as possible. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that cause lasting damage and may be fatal if they are left untreated. But they are also entirely treatable and full recovery is possible. The earlier someone gets the right treatment for their eating disorder, the more likely they are to make a full and sustained recovery.

Please remember that eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They can affect anyone, and if you have one it is not your fault and nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about. It can be very difficult to tell someone you might have an eating disorder, but having a good and understanding support network can make a huge difference when it comes to recovery, and it’s always worth opening that conversation with someone you trust. Our Beat Helpline team are always here to listen if you’re not sure where to turn.

If you’re worried about someone you know, it’s a difficult conversation too – you might feel like you’re accusing the person of doing something wrong, or that it’s insulting to them. But they haven’t done anything wrong, and you’re concerned for a reason. It’s always better to approach the person with compassion and understanding so that they can get the help they need as soon as possible.