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enquiries@edne.org.uk

Call Us Today! 0191 221 0233

Call Us Today! 0191 221 0233

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Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is a serious mental illness where people limit the amount of food they eat and do not get enough energy to stay healthy. 

Some people think anorexia is about slimming and dieting, and weight and shape concerns are often central to the person suffering, but in reality, it's much more complex. At its core, it's often connected to low self-esteem, negative self-image and feelings of intense distress.


Anorexia and your feelings: 

If you have anorexia, you may feel: 

  • unable to think about anything other than food
  • like you need to be perfect or you're never good enough
  • lonely, especially if no one knows about your diagnosis
  • a need for control, that you feel you lose by eating
  • that you're hiding things from family and friends
  • that you are fat and scared of putting on weight
  • that losing weight isn't enough
  • like you want to disappear
  • angry if someone challenges you about your weight or food intake
  • tired and not interested in things you normally enjoy
  • like you cannot see a way out, even depressed or suicidal
  • anxious or panicky, especially around mealtimes
  • like it's an achievement to deny yourself food or over-exercise.

Anorexia and your actions

If you experience anorexia, you might:

  • reduce your food intake or totally stop eating
  • spend a lot of time counting calories of everything you eat
  • hide food or secretly throw it away
  • avoid 'dangerous' foods, like those with high amounts of calories or fat
  • read recipe books and cook meals for others, without eating them yourself
  • use drugs that claim to reduce your appetite or speed up digestion
  • spend your time thinking about losing weight, checking and weighing yourself
  • exercise a lot, with strict rules about how much you must do
  • develop very structured eating times
  • make up rules about food – for example listing 'good' and 'bad' types or only eating certain colours of food.

Anorexia and your body

While experiencing anorexia, you might:

  • weigh less than you do normally, or should do for your age and height
  • lose weight very fast
  • become physically underdeveloped, especially if anorexia starts before puberty
  • feel very cold and weak
  • move around more slowly than normal
  • have irregular periods or none at all, if you usually menstruate
  • lose your hair or start to have very thin hair
  • develop fine fuzzy hair on your arms and face called lanugo lose interest in sex, or find you're not able to have or enjoy sex
  • find it hard to concentrate
  • develop fragile bones or problems like osteoporosis – this is a disease that makes your bones break easily.

What you say

What you say

Maudsley Course Testimonials

your unerring positivity, your calmness.. your skill, your knowledge and true EMPATHY(!) lifted the darkness and I am sure made everyone feel SO much better. I feel more positive today than I have for ages.

Maudsley Course Testimonials

I would thoroughly recommend this course to other carers wherever they are on their journey of supporting a loved one with and ED. Thank you EDNE.

Maudsley Course Testimonials

The course exceeded my expectations ! ..Excellent practical examples.. Feels empowering to have these tools…

Testimonials

I’ve really appreciated the help I’ve been given at EDNE, I didn’t feel like I was just there as a client who just needed to get to the end of their sessions. I actually felt heard and understood.

Testimonials

I was given permission to feel. Instead of being a person with an eating disorder, I was a person who could feel feelings’

Testimonials

‘It was not just putting a plaster over something, it was about healing it. I can’t describe how it feels to have switched my mindset, after 50 years it is mind-blowing’

Testimonials

..entire process has been incredibly supportive and empathetic, giving me the support I needed to move forwards.

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‘I couldn’t have managed without coming here. I genuinely think this place has kept me alive. I have a sense of hope now.’

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EDNE was friendly welcoming and flexible

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EDNE started me thinking about what resilience is and how I could manage day to day and have strategies’

Testimonials

‘..has given me life-changing help. They’ve helped me overcome the barriers. It’s been about unravelling decades.

Testimonials

The counselling has been a big turning point and the support from EDNE has been amazing.

Testimonials

Eating distress ..is such a secretive thing. This has been the first time I didn’t feel alone with it.

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It has literally changed the quality of my life.

Testimonials

The EDNE counsellor’s the only person who has helped me.. the big high walls have come down

Testimonials

Once I got through the door it was easy. They didn’t judge. EDNE helped me to get to be this new person. The old one never looked up and never spoke.

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I used to block out feeling with food, it’s not like that now’

Testimonials

The counselling sessions were absolutely amazing and life-changing.

Testimonials

You think you’re the only person in the world. Now I’ve found out I’m not the only one.

Testimonials

I have had time to think. ..started being able to calm myself down and going to bed earlier to relax. I’m managing money and time better and I’m looking after myself. I’ve never done that before.’

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As a small charity, we rely on the amazing generosity of the public to allow us to continue our work. Every donation is noticed and appreciated, and allows us to really make a difference in someone’s life – by helping to provide specialised one to one counselling sessions to people who would otherwise not be able to access them, run our support groups, and provide training so people can spot the signs of eating distress and help others seek the support they need as early as possible. We use Local Giving as our donation platform, and any contribution enables us to continue providing our supportive services for people struggling with anxiety around food

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