Key Characteristics

Anorexia is a complex, but treatable, mental health condition. It is characterised by:

  • A persistent restriction of food intake, leading to a lower than typical body weight for the person's age and height. Sometimes the person will lose a considerable amount of weight over a short period of time
  • An intense fear of gaining weight or becoming 'fat', even if the person is underweight or malnourished, which interferes with their ability to maintain their body's healthy weight
  • A disturbed perception of weight, size and appearance. Body weight and size will have an extreme influence on how someone views themselves and there will often be a lack of recognition of the seriousness of the situation.

Signs and Symptoms

If you are struggling with anorexia you may....


Support & Recovery

It is important to know that recovery from anorexia is always possible, no matter how long someone has been unwell. 

The prognosis of anorexia is greatly improved, however, with early and immediate access to treatment. Therefore, it is very important that you reach out for help and support as soon soon as you can. The first step to getting professional help is to make an appointment with your GP. 

The Eating Disorders Association (N.I.) can talk this through with you if you are feel nervous about approaching someone. We offer a wide range of information materials and support services to help you or your loved one in recovery. Please see our leaflet ‘Anorexia Nervosa’ for more information and contact us today in confidence for support.

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