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Anorexia is an eating disorder where you worry about your weight, want to lose weight and eat less and less food. It's a serious condition, but with the right help, you can recover and take back your life.

If things feel out of control, restricting what you eat could be a way of feeling more in charge. But this feeling does not last - restricting your food intake is not a long-term solution.

Girls are ten times more likely than boys to develop anorexia, but eating disorders are becoming more common among males.

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa are both physical and mental.


Feelings and behaviours:

  • eating less and less

  • exercising too much

  • thinking a lot about calories

  • feeling panicky about eating in front or others or having a big meal

  • feeling fat even though people tell you you're too thin

  • obsession with body image and comparing your body to others

  • losing interest in things

  • low mood and irritability

Physical changes:

  • losing lots of weight quickly

  • periods stopping or being unable to have an erection

  • feeling cold all the time

  • growing new downy hair on your body

  • poor sleep and concentration

  • constipation

Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by anorexia nervosa. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis.

What to do about anorexia

Take the first step – Anorexia can happen to anyone. It can be very difficult to accept that you have a problem, but it's the first step to getting better.

If you think you are affected by anorexia nervosa, talk to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend.

You should also see your GP. They may offer to refer you to an expert or a psychiatrist who can help you.

 Get help now 

Australia's largest crisis hotline

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Provide a safe space to discuss your worries, needs or concerns

Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Call service available at 13 11 14

Text service available at 0477 13 11 14​

Support for eating disorders and body image issues

Available 24/7, 365 days a year

Call service available at 1800 33 4673

Online text service

Email help service

Australia's young person mental health crisis hotline

24/7 services

Call service available at 1300 22 4636

Chat online service

Email service

Australia-wide emergency service


Available in rural areas

For emergency use only

Ability to dispatch police, ambulance and fire

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