Eating Disorders

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude to food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour.


If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, you might find yourself focusing on your weight excessively, making unhealthy choices around food, over-exercising or using other behaviours like purging to control your weight.


Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions. If you suspect you might be suffering from one, it’s important you get the right treatment as soon as possible.

What are the different types of eating disorders?

Eating disorders come in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones are:


Anorexia nervosa – when a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible, often by excessively restricting their eating and/or excessively exercising.


Bulimia – when a person goes through periods of binge eating and is then deliberately sick or uses laxatives to control their weight.


Binge eating disorder – when a person eats large amounts of food in a short timeframe.


Some people might be diagnosed with an eating disorder that has a mixed presentation of these symptoms which is referred to as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

What are the symptoms of an eating disorder?

The most common symptoms of an eating disorder are:

  • Negative perception of your own body
  • Constant weighing yourself
  • Dissatisfaction with body parts
  • Food restriction
  • Compulsive exercise
  • Need for perfection
  • Purging
  • Fear of being fat
  • Excess eating

Treatment for eating disorders

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, depending on its type and severity, you might require a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment. You are likely to be offered a psychiatric review and we will also work closely alongside your GP and a nutritionist.


There are certain circumstances in which inpatient treatment may be necessary in which case we will liaise with appropriate approved providers about your care.

consultation taking notes

Frequently asked questions

You should seek help if you find yourself getting preoccupied about your weight/body image, engaging in behaviours which involve restricting your eating or your symptoms are interfering with your daily life.
You are more likely to have difficulties at a clinical level when the severity of your symptoms – and how much you observe yourself to be managing your eating – is different to the people around you. If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, your eating habits may be impacting your relationships and you may be engaging in behaviours that are not in the best interest of your health and wellbeing.

Related videos

Start your journey


Dr Stacie Tay

Dr Stacie Tay attained her BSc (Hons) Psychology at the University of Nottingham and worked as a psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, before returning to the UK to complete her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University College London.   

Dr Tay has worked in a variety of settings within the NHS for more than eight years, including primary and secondary care, specialist psychological services and forensic inpatient settings. She currently works as a Clinical Psychologist at the North East London Foundation Trust.  

She has extensive experience working with individuals and groups, providing evidence-based psychological therapies including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness-based approaches as well as Schema-informed therapy.   

Dr Tay’s clinical experience involves working with people who present with a range of mild to severe mental health difficulties. This includes depression, anxiety (OCD, social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety, phobia-related disorders, PTSD), stress related issues, low self-esteem, complex trauma, interpersonal difficulties, grief and bereavement, and long-term health conditions.