Getting help

If you are worried that you, or someone you care for, might have an eating disorder, it is crucial that you seek professional help as soon as you can. The earlier you can get treatment, the better the chance of recovery.

The first port of call should always be your GP, who should listen to your concerns and consider a range of mental and physical factors, in line with the NICE Guidelines for Recognition and Treatment of Eating Disorders.

If your GP thinks you may have an eating disorder they should arrange an immediate referral to a community-based, age-appropriate eating disorder service for further assessment.

If a referral results in a confirmed diagnosis of an eating disorder, the next steps and treatment options should be explained to you. Depending on your age, type, and severity of eating disorder this may be a combination of medical monitoring, talking therapies and dietary support. Normally this will mean attending as an outpatient (where you visit the clinic for your appointments and then go home). In some cases, doctors may want you to stay longer (half – full day) at a clinic or hospital for day patient care. In serious and urgent cases, those who are extremely unwell and need care straight away need to be admitted to hospital as an inpatient.

Recovery from an eating disorder can be a complex process which may take some time, but it is important to remember that it is achievable. With the right help and support you or your loved one can break free of the limitations eating disorders create in your life. In any recovery journey there will be challenges to overcome, but the sooner help and support is sought, the sooner recovery begins.

We have a range of services that can support you or your loved one with recovery, alongside professional help.

For those up to 19 years old, NICE stipulates 95% of those referred for assessment or treatment should start treatment within one week for urgent cases, and four weeks for non-urgent cases.

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Related pages

Talk ED’s support services

Talking to your GP

Accepting help

Find a private counsellor or therapist

Are you worried that you, or a loved one may have an eating disorder? Our Peer Support Team have lived experiences of eating disorders and recovery.

To talk to someone who understands, book a 1:1 support call, we’re here to help.

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