Worried about yourself

Key points:

  • If you are worried about yourself, seek help – don’t wait until you think it’s “serious” enough
  • There are many options for help and support. Contact EDV or your GP to talk about what is best for you

How do you know if there’s a problem?

Have you been feeling a bit different lately, but you’re not sure if it’s anything to be worried about? Perhaps you’ve done one of the quick quizzes on this website, and you’re wondering if your attitudes towards food, exercise or your body have gone “too far”.

While everyone has a different experience, there are some common things to look out for:

  • Feeling preoccupied by negative or obsessive thoughts and feelings around food, eating, or your body.
  • Feeling like things in your life are out of control.
  • Feeling more anxious, sad or ‘flat’ than usual, or pulling away from people who care about you.
  • Feeling guilty, embarrassed, ashamed or angry… even if you’re not sure why
  • …or feeling numb, like it’s hard to feel anything at all.
  • Feeling compelled to keep your eating patterns or other behaviours a secret, or hide your true thoughts and feelings from people around you.
  • Other people commenting on your body or your behaviours – either in a positive or a negative way.
  • Noticing that your eating habits are very different from those of your friends and family.
  • Feeling caught in a cycle of destructive thoughts and behaviours, but unsure how to stop.

These changes can emerge gradually over time, making it hard to tell if there’s a problem. If you’re worried, it’s best to try and talk to someone about it to stop things getting any worse. Remember, you don’t need to wait until the problem is “serious enough”: the earlier you get support, the better.

Taking the first step

Depending on your situation and support network, you may decide to confide in somebody close to you before seeking professional help. Telling someone for the first time can be a daunting experience, but can also bring with it a great sense of relief as you’re no longer carrying your concerns alone. Choose someone you trust, and let them know you are worried and need to find some help. You could write them an email or letter if you don’t want to talk face to face.

Call or email the EDV Helpline on 1300 550 236 help@eatingdisorders.org.au for an anonymous, confidential chat. EDV can help you find a health professional who understands eating disorders and body image issues, and get you started on the road to recovery.