Anorexia nervosa is a mental health disorder which is defined by an abnormally low body weight, self induced starvation, refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, an obsession with food, excessive dieting, or participation in excessive exercise in an attempt to reduce their weight to as low as possible.



Anorexia nervosa is the most fatal mental illness, causing the most deaths out of any other mental diagnosis, because of the detrimental effects starvation has on the body and mind. People who suffer with anorexia nervosa often have a distorted body image and think they are fat when they are not. It is common for somebody with anorexia nervosa to have other destructive behaviours and mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, low self esteem, alcohol misuse, drug misuse and self-harm.

Our team of professionals are trained in managing anorexia nervosa and associated behaviours and can help achieve healthy positive behaviours through multidisciplinary, holistic interventions.


What causes anorexia nervosa?

The cause of anorexia nervosa is not fully understood. There are some similarities between people with anorexia nervosa such as experiences of trauma or extreme dieting in the past. Additionally, a young person is more likely to develop an eating disorder if a parent of sibling has one. anorexia nervosa can give those with it a feeling of control, purpose and achievement when they starve themselves and lose weight. Our team can help someone with anorexia introduce more positive behaviours when they have these feels of powerlessness and lack of control.

If you would like to find out how we can help someone with anorexia nervosa , please contact us.

How do I know if myself or a loved one has anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa, and its severity, can develop over a short or long period of time. If somebody is showing these signs, they may have anorexia nervosa :

  • Substantial weight loss in a small space of time
  • Sudden withdrawal from family, loved ones and friends, especially in social situations when food is involved
  • Obsessive fear of fatness or pursuit of thinness
  • Preoccupation with body image, body weight, food or exercise
  • Often in denial about severity and danger of low body weight or disorder
  • A reduction in energy and constantly tired or fatigued
  • May start telling lies about their body weight, weight loss, what they have eaten, saying they ate earlier
  • May change eating behaviour, such as become vegetarian or vegan (so it's easier to avoid meals and food)
  • They may start wearing very baggy or oversized clothes to hide severity of weight loss
  • Food hidden or left over in bins, fed to the pets or bedrooms
  • Performance in school or work may decrease
  • Missing occasions and situations where food is involved
  • Excessive calorie counting and consumption of low calorie foods

The sooner anorexic behaviours are picked up and addressed through psychological and dietetic treatment, the more likely it is for the person to make a full recovery.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact us.

What are the long term effects of anorexia nervosa?

Although anorexia nervosa is a mental illness, it causes severe physical problems due to the effect of starvation on the body, such as:

  • Death
  • Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
  • Infertility
  • Muscle and bone loss
  • Chronic dehydration
  • Brain damage
  • Heart failure
  • Shut down of organs and organ failure
  • In women, loss of periods (amenorrhea)
  • In children, anorexia nervosa can stop them entering puberty all together, causing infertility and reduced growth

At The Bridge, we offer a mental health nurse assessment and regular reviews to reduce the likelihood of these long term effects of anorexia nervosa developing. Our dietitian will help reduce the effects of starvation by identifying the nutritional deficiencies the person with anorexia nervosa may be at risk of.

To see how our team can help you please contact us.

How is anorexia nervosa treated?

Assessment




Mental health nurse reviews




Clinical Psychology Therapy Sessions




Dietetic reviews




Group therapy




Family therapy

Our treatment of anorexia nervosa is coordinated by a mental health nurse, ensuring the person with anorexia gets the best treatment and care possible. The mental health nurse will discuss with the young person which treatment options are best, according to their lifestyle and the severity of the disease. We provide a combination of psychological treatment and dietetic therapy within a family or individual format. The person with anorexia will discuss with the mental health nurse as to which is appropriate and the time it should take to complete, incorporating different methods and techniques according to the person’s recovery goals.

If you’d like to know more about our treatment programmes, please contact us.

How can The Bridge help with anorexia nervosa?

There are many ways The Bridge can help someone with anorexia nervosa. We can help anybody with a BMI above 14.5 kg/m2 who is showing signs of anorexia nervosa or any eating disorder. Our therapy treatment options are coordinated by an eating disorder specialist mental health nurse and are bespoke and tailored to the individual’s needs. We help by providing immediate access to an outpatient, multidisciplinary service to aid recovery of eating disorders in a setting which allows individuals to have more control over their lives. We work with the individual on their own or as part of a family to address their psychological needs, while achieving optimal and safe nutritional with the dietitian.

If you think you need our help please contact us.



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We make the following six promises to all our patients.

Our values

Holistic and patient centred

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We believe in continuously providing holistic, patient-centred treatments which promote physical and mental wellbeing to increase resilience. The needs and wellbeing of patients is at the centre of everything we do. We are passionate about helping people and their families achieve their goals by providing them with patient-centred therapy that is passionate, caring and knowledgeable. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge to help educate patients, families and the wider public about eating disorders.

Results based

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We believe in providing patients with evidence-based treatments to enable recovery of their eating disorder. We are committed to providing results-focused practice to ensure we deliver patients with the goals they want to achieve. Importantly, we believe results are best achieved with an educative approach and we work with our patients to achieve their goals together. We also believe that follow up after treatment is essential to ensure patients’ needs are being met and that their results are maximised.

Promoting physical and mental wellbeing

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We believe in helping patients develop a healthy relationship to food, and their body. Our service enables patients to set their own feeding goals in order to achieve a healthy weight and independently manage meals. We are passionate about helping patients’ understanding of disordered eating, and promoting mental wellness in order to tackle the behaviour.

Accessible and approachable

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We believe our services should be approachable and accessible. We give people the best chances of recovery by providing them with early access to assessments and interventions that are provided by approachable staff in an outpatient setting.

Immediate access to a specialist team

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We believe to maximise people’s recovery we should provide them with immediate access and to our specialist multidisciplinary team of professionals that will work with them holistically to achieve the best possible results for patients and families.

Affordable service

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We believe that anyone should be able to access immediate treatment for an eating disorder, regardless of their financial situation. Our treatment is priced as a total care package that is agreed with each client, tailored to the individual with a flexible pricing policy. We believe in offering finance to people who may benefit from this.



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We achieve the best possible results for eating disorder sufferers with a range of problems and conditions by providing patients with early access to assessment and intervention.

To find our more about how we can help, please contact us.

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