An eating disorder can have a major impact on a person’s life, including their relationships, job, schoolwork, and physical health. Without treatment, in the most extreme cases, eating disorders can be fatal.
With all eating disorders, the first step is recognising that there’s a problem and being willing to seek help. If you’re worried that you have an eating disorder, the first step towards getting help is usually speaking to your GP.
Treating eating disorders
Treating an eating disorder usually involves monitoring a person’s physical health while helping them with their mental health. The type of treatment used depends on the person involved, how serious their condition is, and what type of eating disorder they have.
For some people, self-help or guided self-help can be effective and help them to change the way they think about food and body shape.
When guided self-help isn’t appropriate, or wouldn’t be effective enough on its own, the main treatment is psychological therapy.
Medication alone isn’t usually effective for eating disorders. For some people it can be helpful to prescribe medication in combination with psychological treatment.
The Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SEDIG) provides a range of information for people with eating disorders, their carers and loved ones, and healthcare professionals. They also link to local sources of support.
Another leading charity for people with eating disorders is Beat, which has a range of information on the help and support available for people with eating disorders, and their friends and families.