Do I Have An Eating Disorder? | Eating Disorders Victoria
Home ~ My recovery journey ~ Do I have an eating disorder?

Do I have an eating disorder?

Home ~ My recovery journey ~ Do I have an eating disorder?

The symptoms for eating disorders present differently for each individual, which makes self-diagnosis or diagnosis without a professional’s input difficult and potentially dangerous. This page outlines how to seek help if you are concerned you or someone you care about may have an eating disorder.

Do I have an eating disorder?

Often when people engage in eating disorder behaviours, they are trying to cope with a range of challenging feelings, beliefs or experiences. Admitting something is wrong can feel daunting, and there may be resistance to addressing some of the concerning behaviours. The first step in your journey towards recovery is acknowledging that something isn’t right, and you may need some additional help.

It doesn’t matter about age, gender, ethnicity or background — anyone can develop an eating disorder. That’s because eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder are complex mental illnesses without a single identifiable cause.

The symptoms for eating disorders also present differently for each individual, which makes self-diagnosis or diagnosis without a professional’s input difficult and potentially dangerous.  It’s also worth noting that diagnoses and symptoms can change over time, so being guided on your recovery journey with the help of a psychologist or GP is advisable.

If you are looking for common signs and symptoms of eating disorders, please visit our pages on:

Below are some tools to help you decide whether you or a loved one need to seek professional help for an eating disorder.

Online self-assesment

The Reach Out and Recover (ROAR) website has a self-assessment tool that can produce a personalised report to take to the GP.

ROAR will help you to see the extent and impact of any issues you are experiencing, and will provide help with the next steps to take towards recovery.  It was developed with extensive input from lived experience of seeking help and clinical expertise.

Complete the checklist

Use the checklist as a starting point to discuss how you’re feeling with your GP.

Reach Out And Recover checklist

For parents and carers concerned about a loved one

Feed Your Instinct (FYI) is an interactive tool designed to help people who are concerned about a loved one’s eating and/or body image problems.

The Feed Your Instinct Eating and Body Image Checklist outlines some behaviour changes you may have noticed in a loved one. Once the checklist is completed, FYI will generate a personalised report with a summary of the information you have provided and suggested strategies for you to implement.

This report may help you to make a decision about how to act on your concerns; however, please note that it is not safe to ‘watch and wait’ with possible eating disorders in young people. In addition, Feed Your Instinct will generate a separate printable summary for you to take to your family doctor/GP to help communicate your concerns.

Go to the Feed Your Instinct website

Complete the Feed Your Instinct checklist and take the report to your GP.

Complete FYI checklist


The Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) Hub is a free and confidential service providing information and support to people who are experiencing an eating disorder or are supporting a loved one with an eating disorder. The EDV Hub isn’t a diagnostic service, however we can talk with you about your concerns and provide resources for the next steps of help seeking.

How do I contact the Hub?

Get in touch with our online form or through our free call phone number.

Contact the Hub

Telling someone

Telling someone for the first time can be a daunting experience, but can also bring with it a great sense of relief as you are no longer carrying your concerns alone.

Attempting to tackle an eating disorder alone is very difficult. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses, so it’s important that you get support from someone close to you, such as a family member, partner or a friend. If you don’t have someone trusted in your life to talk to, you may decide to confide in a health professional like your family doctor.

Who should I tell?

When you are considering who to talk to, make sure they are someone trustworthy, sensitive and understanding, who you feel comfortable speaking with. Ensure you talk to someone who will support you in finding the best path to getting better.

You may feel more comfortable talking to a family member, close friend, sports coach, teacher (if you’re at school) or colleague. Sometimes it is easier to open up to someone outside of your immediate circle of family and friends because the level of emotional attachment is less significant.

Getting support

If you think you may have an eating disorder or if you are diagnosed with an eating disorder, it’s important to start accessing treatment and supports.

There are a number of treatment and recovery support options for people with eating disorders in Victoria. Continue reading the links below for information about talking with a doctor, treatment pathways for adults and young people, types of evidence-based treatment, and lived experience peer support.

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