Eating disorders

I am concerned about myself/ family member /friend what can I do?

Encouraging others to seek help can be difficult, especially if that person does not see that there is a problem. Often it can be about waiting for the right time to step in and speak. Sometimes not directly linking your concerns to the person’s eating behaviour but rather expressing concern that they seem low, more tired or just not themselves may result in a less defensive response and allow a conversation to develop. If you can, encourage them to go and see their GP who can then take things further and make a referral if necessary. The Beat website is a good source of advice and can offer the chance for people who are not ready to “go public” to access information and support.

Will I get better?

The majority of people with bulimia nervosa and similar problems will make a good recovery if they can access appropriate short term therapy. Most people will not have an eating disorder after completing treatment although problems may recur at times and part of long term recovery is learning to manage setbacks and lapses. Recovery from anorexia nervosa is more complex and takes longer. The earlier people receive help the better the chance of recovery. Even people who have had the illness for many years can recover. Some may remain ill over the long term and then help may be more focussed on helping people live as full a life as they possibly can with their illness.

How can I be seen at your service?

If you live in Leicestershire and have an eating disorder then you can to be referred by your GP. People with anorexia nervosa from other counties in the East Midlands may be referred for inpatient treatment at the regional unit in Leicester. However, these referrals for inpatient treatment are made by the specialist eating disorder service within that county.

Can I get help from anywhere else?

There are other sources of help available from outside the NHS. Beat is a voluntary organisation which is a good source of information and support for both people with eating disorders and for family and friends. There are self- help books that could be useful. In rare cases people with severe anorexia may be referred to other inpatient services if there is no local bed available or if there is a specific reason why their treatment needs would be best met by another service. This decision would be made by the Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service and the commissioning body NHS England.