Anorexia Nervosa (or anorexia as it's more commonly referred to) is an eating disorder that can be triggered by feelings about body image and weight or used as a way to take back control during a time of stress.


It is characterised by three aspects:

It might seem that anorexia is primarily caused by feelings about weight and body shape but a person may develop the condition because of the way they feel about themselves.

It can also be a way of  taking back control if you are going through a very stressful or tough time in your life. Both boys and girls can develop anorexia.

Stopping yourself from eating is very dangerous and can seriously affect your physical and mental health. It can also be hard to admit to having anorexia, even if you feel very ill.

That’s why it’s so important for you or your friend to get help if you’re eating less and losing a lot of weight.


More information and support

Bodywhys provides support and information for people affected by anorexia and other eating disorders. 



If you’re thinking about suicide or self-harm or if you need help right away, call 999 or 112

There are also specific support lines that you can call:

Samaritans Ireland – 116 123

Pieta House – 1800 247 247


Childline can also be contacted by any child or young person by calling 1800 66 66 66, texting to 50101 or chatting online at 24 hours a day, every day.