Eating Disorders and Suicide

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is when a person adopts abnormal eating habits that can negatively affect their physical and mental health. There are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating.

The three main eating disorders

How to recognize eating disorders

  • Constantly thinking about food and physical appearance
  • Feeling anxious or guilty after eating
  • Fasting or not eating much
  • Purging yourself
  • Being embarrassed to eat in front of others
  • Weighing yourself often
  • Hiding food or cutting it into very small pieces
  • Exercising excessively
  • Using laxatives
  • Eating large quantities of food without being able to stop
  • Eating to relieve boredom, sadness, or depression
  • Believing that food controls your life
  • Getting dizzy for no medical reason
  • Losing a lot of weight quickly
  • Going at least three months without menstruating
  • Being confronted about your weight loss by a loved one

What are the effects of eating disorders?

Eating disorders can have physical and psychological effects, including:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, or disgust
  • Tooth decay
  • Anxiety
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Loneliness
  • Intestinal problems
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
If left untreated, anorexia and bulimia can be fatal.

Do you have an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts?

People with eating disorders may have suicidal thoughts. If this is the case for you, consult the following sections:

01 Taking stock of your mental health

The first step toward taking back control is identifying what’s causing your suicidal thoughts.

02 Taking care of yourself

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and regain your balance when you’re having suicidal thoughts.

03 Talking about it with your loved ones

Asking for help from your family and friends isn’t always easy. There are different ways of going about it.

04 Finding support services

Every day, all sorts of people contact support services to get the help they need.

What to do if you have an eating disorder

Eating disorders can be treated. If you have symptoms, first call Info-Social at 811, option 2, to discuss your situation with a psychosocial worker and be referred, if necessary, to resources in your area that can provide support.

For an assessment and follow-up with a healthcare professional, consult a general practitioner (your family doctor, for example), a psychologist or contact your local CLSC.

Other resources can help people with eating disorders.

Advice for people with eating disorders

What I'm going through...