We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click accept my preferences we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. Visit our Cookie Policy and our Privacy Policy for more information about managing your cookies.

Current preferences

You are here: Disorders → Anorexia

Anorexia is an eating disorder, where people find that they become very concerned about their weight and their shape. People affected “crave thinness” or “fear fatness”, so restrict their food intake to reach low body-weight, says Dr Alex Joy.

Dr Joy is an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist at Sussex Eating Disorder Services. She features in the videos in this portal alongside Nicola Davis. Nicola has lived with anorexic thoughts since suffering a traumatic event at a young age and talks from the perspective of someone who is now managing the condition, thriving in her work, and contributing insight to those who want to learn more about how to access affective support and/or coping strategies.

Anorexia can affect anyone, of any age or gender, at any stage in their life and can often be triggered by a stressful life event.

People affected often report that they wish responses to their eating behaviour had involved more interest in how they are, as much as interest in their relationship to food itself.

open quoteclose quote
I just wanted someone to ask me how I was.

The condition can cause serious physical complications and has a significant impact on relationships, work and education. Understanding of eating disorders and how best to respond is key in order to identify and treat them as early as possible.