Call our National Helpline on 01-2107906 or email


It is precisely because the eating disorder serves a purpose that it becomes very difficult to stop its progress.

For the person affected, the eating disorder can seem like an effective coping mechanism and it can take hold very quickly. This is why it is difficult to stop its progress. The longer it is established, the more it takes on a life of its own and takes over the life of the person affected, so early intervention is really important.

Often, by the time they begin to understand what is happening, they are unable and too scared to try and stop. It is as if the eating disorder is now controlling them. Also, for many, overwhelming feelings of helplessness, guilt, shame and self-loathing become an insurmountable block to seeking help.

Recovery begins with

  • a will to change
  • an acknowledgement that the eating disorder is a problem
  • working to build up a strong sense of self and a new, healthy way of coping that does not need the eating disorder to feel safe

Recovery requires working on underlying issues, building self-esteem, and learning to manage and express feelings, as well as addressing the physical and nutritional aspects of the disorder.

Recovery takes great courage and commitment. Much sensitivity, compassion, respect, understanding and patience will be needed by those around them (family, friends, G.P., and other members of the treatment team) if a person is to be successfully encouraged and supported on their journey towards recovery.


Further information can be found in the books listed on our Booklist and from other websites for eating disorders and related issues. See our list of Websites or contact the Bodywhys Helpline: lo call 1890 200 444.