A young girl lying face down in a bed with her hair spread above her head on the sheet.

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that can be triggered by feelings about body image or as a control response to a stressful situation.


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. 

Website: bodywhys.ie

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 Childline.ie 24 hours a day, every day.


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