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Anorexia Nervosa

Private treatment, support and therapy for anorexia nervosa at Schoen Clinic

Anorexia Nervosa (also known as just anorexia) is probably the most well-known eating disorder and a serious mental health condition.

If you think that you or a loved one might be suffering from anorexia, we are here to help. As experts in anorexia recovery and treatment, we are on hand to help you with anorexia recovery.

woman in a therapy session looking sad

What is anorexia?

Individuals experiencing anorexia aim to maintain their lowest possible weight by undereating, overexercising, or a combination of the two. With time, anorexia can lead people to become very ill as they starve their bodies of the essential fuels and nutrients the body needs to survive and function properly.

People with anorexia very often have an inaccurate perception of their body, believing they are overweight even when they are underweight. Early intervention is critical in cases of anorexia as the longer the disorder progresses, the more difficult it becomes to treat.

Anorexia can affect both men and women of any age, however, it more frequently affects young women and usually begins in early to mid-adolescence.

Anorexia is an isolating eating disorder

Anorexia can lead to isolation if you restrict yourself from healthy eating habits and socialising with others. In many cultures, people often meet with friends and family to eat food. When you feel a compulsion to reduce your food intake, you'll often avoid social situations like these. This isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, despair, and loss of self-esteem and confidence. Often how others respond to your loss of weight and reduction in eating can lead to further isolation as you may feel they lack understanding or have unrealistic expectations of you.

When anorexia starts to worry you or other people; it usually manifests itself by significant weight loss and associated marked deterioration of your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. The risks of compromised health conditions increase if a person’s body does not get the nutrients and nourishment it needs over a period of time. This can lead to symptoms such as hair loss, constant fatigue, difficulty concentrating, prone to feeling unwell and can often result in anxiety or depression.

What are the signs & symptoms of anorexia?

The typical time of onset for anorexia is during adolescence, so a young person is more likely to have those around them who may spot the early signs of disordered eating. Because anorexia is such a serious condition, if you have any concerns about a relative, friend or other loved one, it is best to find a way to raise your concerns with them, as anorexia treatment is known to be more effective if started at an early stage. A full recovery from anorexia is more difficult to obtain if untreated for a longer time.

Anorexia nervosa has two main subtypes: restrictive and binge-purge.

  • Restrictive - Individuals with the anorexia nervosa subtype known as restrictive severely restrict the quantity and variety of food they eat.

  • Binge-purge - Individuals with the binge-purge subtype also severely restrict their food intake. Additionally, individuals could experience periods of binge eating and purging, in which they consume a lot of food quickly and then throw up or misuse laxatives or diuretics to get rid of it.

The hallmarks of anorexia nervosa are self-starvation, weight loss, and low weight for height and age. An extremely dangerous illness, anorexia has one of the greatest mortality rates of any mental health diagnosis so it's vital to begin treatment as early as possible.

When your anorexia starts to worry you or others, it often manifests as significant weight loss and a clear reduction in your physical and emotional wellbeing. The likelihood of developing impaired health problems increases over time if a person's body is not given the nutrition and food it requires. This is often followed by worry or despair and can produce symptoms like hair loss, ongoing weariness, difficulty concentrating, and a tendency to feel unwell.

What are the psychological symptoms of anorexia?

  • Fear of reaching a normal weight, or of putting on weight at all

  • Feelings of depression, such as low mood, irritability; and social isolation

  • Preoccupation or obsession with food

  • Body image disturbance and fixation

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Low self-esteem

What are the behavioural symptoms of anorexia?

  • Limiting the amount and/or type of food eaten

  • Self-induced vomiting

  • Use of appetite suppressant pills or laxatives

  • Excessive/driven exercise

  • Loss of libido

  • Wearing baggy clothing to hide figure

  • Avoidance of social activities

What are the physical symptoms of anorexia?

  • Low body weight

  • Loss of menstruation (periods) in females

  • Coldness due to poor circulation, particularly in hands and feet

  • Abdominal pain

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances, e.g. bloating, constipation

  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Thin hair that may fall out

  • Fine hair appearing on the body

How does anorexia develop?

There is no one definitive cause of anorexia, however, there are certain risk factors that can increase the likelihood of a person developing the condition. The following factors may contribute:

  • Genetic vulnerability: this can be illustrated in the family history of eating disorders, or other mental health disorders.

  • Societal or occupational pressure to look a certain way.

  • Experience of trauma, including abuse.

  • Experience of anxiety, obsessional or perfectionist traits.

  • Experience of criticism of food intake, weight or bodily appearance. e.g. bullying.

  • Childhood anxiety.

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Get in touch today for highly specialised support for anorexia

If you're looking for highly specialised support or treatment for anorexia, please reach out to our team.

We have a dedicated hospital for children and teens with anorexia in Birmingham, a specialised hospital for adults with anorexia in York and a mental health and wellbeing clinic in London offering anorexia support for most ages.

Email our caring team today to get started.

How much does anorexia treatment cost?

The cost of different types of treatment, therapy or support will vary. See our full breakdown of our prices and funding options for more information or specific costs.

Highly specialised treatment for anorexia

Helping patients gain weight and control their eating and weight-control behaviours is an essential component of anorexia nervosa treatment. An essential part of the therapy strategy is the medical assessment and treatment of any co-existing physical or mental health problems. As part of the nutritional strategy, patients should be taught how to overcome their fear of food and encouraged to practise eating a range of foods with different calorie densities at regularly spaced meals.

Some of the best therapies assist families in supporting and supervising mealtimes. Changes often take longer to execute, even though dealing with body dissatisfaction is equally as important as dealing with weight and eating habits.

We'll work together to manage your anorexia in a way that keeps you engaged and inspired to get better. We collaborate with you to set goals and create a treatment plan that will guide you toward recovery. We understand how challenging it may be to manage the stress brought on by changing your perspective on food and diet.

Your road to recovery may be difficult, and no two people's journeys to recovery are the same, but at Schoen Clinic, we recognise how crucial it is to respect your unique situation and assist you in identifying your particular needs.

Outpatient anorexia treatment

Outpatient anorexia treatment at Schoen Clinic offers a comprehensive approach to supporting individuals in their journey towards recovery from anorexia nervosa. Our outpatient options are designed to provide flexible and personalised care that addresses the unique needs of each patient. Through a combination of evidence-based therapies, nutritional counselling, and medical monitoring, we strive to empower individuals to overcome the challenges posed by their eating disorders while promoting long-term health and wellbeing.

Our outpatient anorexia treatment at Schoen Clinic prioritises holistic healing, recognising that recovery from anorexia nervosa extends beyond symptom management to encompass emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Through a combination of therapy modalities such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), and family-based treatment (FBT), we help patients develop healthier attitudes towards food, body image, and self-esteem. Additionally, our nutritional counselling services equip individuals with practical skills and knowledge to establish balanced eating habits and restore nutritional health. With compassionate guidance and unwavering support, we empower individuals to reclaim control over their lives and embrace a future free from the grip of anorexia nervosa.

Outpatient treatment for anorexia is available at Schoen Clinic Chelsea.

Inpatient anorexia treatment

Inpatient or residential anorexia treatment at Schoen Clinic offers a structured and supportive environment for individuals battling severe forms of anorexia nervosa. Our specialised programmes are designed to provide intensive care and supervision for children, teens and adults who require round-the-clock support to address the physical, psychological, and nutritional aspects of their illness. Within our safe and nurturing residential hospitals, patients receive comprehensive treatment delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts dedicated to guiding them towards lasting recovery.

At Schoen Clinic, we recognise the complexity of anorexia nervosa and the profound impact it can have on individuals' lives. Our inpatient anorexia treatment approach integrates evidence-based therapies, medical monitoring, and nutritional rehabilitation to address the multifaceted nature of the disorder. Led by experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians, nurses, and medical doctors, our teams collaborate closely to develop personalised treatment plans tailored to meet the unique needs of each patient. By fostering a therapeutic community grounded in compassion, understanding, and respect, we create a supportive environment where individuals can confront the underlying issues driving their eating disorder and embark on a path towards healing and recovery.

Inpatient treatment for anorexia is available for children and teens at Schoen Clinic Newbridge, and adults over the age of 18 at Schoen Clinic York

Daycare anorexia treatment

Schoen Clinic offers daycare anorexia treatment as a flexible and supportive option for individuals who are well enough to return home each evening while still benefiting from structured therapeutic interventions during the day. Our daycare programmes provide comprehensive treatment and support for individuals navigating the challenges of anorexia nervosa while allowing them to maintain their daily routines and connections with their support networks outside of treatment hours.

Ideal for individuals who may not require round-the-clock care or intensive inpatient/residential treatment, daycare anorexia treatment at one of our Schoen Clinic hospitals offers a balance of therapeutic support and independence. Throughout the day, patients participate in a variety of evidence-based therapies, group sessions, and skill-building activities designed to address the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of their illness. Under the guidance of our expert team of clinicians, including psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians, and therapists, individuals receive personalised care tailored to their unique needs and treatment goals.

Our daycare anorexia treatment programs at Schoen Clinic are structured to promote sustainable recovery and empower individuals to develop the skills and strategies needed to overcome their eating disorder.

Daycare treatment for anorexia is available for children and teens at Schoen Clinic Newbridge, and adults over the age of 18 at Schoen Clinic York

Private short-stay anorexia support

Schoen Clinic provides private short-stay anorexia support tailored to individuals seeking focused care during critical junctures of their recovery journey. Our short-stay programmes offer a range of key benefits designed to address specific needs, including respite, extra support, early intervention, and assistance for those beginning to relapse. Whether individuals require a brief period of intensive treatment to stabilise their condition or seek additional support to navigate challenges in their recovery process, our short-stay programmes offer personalised care in a supportive and nurturing environment.

One of the primary reasons individuals may opt for short-stay anorexia support at Schoen Clinic is to take a respite from the demands of daily life and focus on their recovery. Our short-stay anorexia support provides individuals with the opportunity to step away from stressors and triggers in their environment, allowing them to immerse themselves fully in therapeutic interventions and self-care activities. During their short-stay at one of our specialised hospitals, patients receive expert support and guidance from our experienced team of clinicians, empowering them to recharge, reflect, and refocus on their path towards wellness.

Private short-stay anorexia support is available for children and teens at Schoen Clinic Newbridge, and adults over the age of 18 at Schoen Clinic York

How Schoen Clinic helps people recover from anorexia

Most people associate anorexia with people who restrict their eating or people who ‘need to gain weight’. At Schoen Clinic we work with the person, not the label. We endeavour to ensure you get the best opportunity to explore your feelings, thoughts and actions that have led to your reduction in health and wellbeing. Restoring your quality of life and how you view yourself and others is our priority.

We know that beneath the label of anorexia, there is a person who has many roles to fulfil and we will explore these with you and how they can pull you in different directions. Our treatments include psychological and psychodynamic approaches alongside psychoeducation and skills development techniques such as mindfulness.

Is it time to seek help for anorexia?

As you consider taking the courageous step towards seeking help for anorexia, we at Schoen Clinic stand ready to support you on your journey to recovery. With a deep understanding of the complexities of anorexia nervosa, we offer a range of specialised treatment options tailored to individuals of all ages across our Schoen Clinic locations. Whether you're seeking comprehensive inpatient or residential care, structured outpatient therapy, short-stay support, or flexible daycare treatment, our dedicated team of clinicians is committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive care that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of the disorder.

At Schoen Clinic, we believe that recovery from anorexia is possible with the right support and guidance. Our evidence-based treatment approaches are grounded in empathy, respect, and collaboration, empowering individuals to reclaim their lives and rediscover their sense of self-worth. With a multidisciplinary team of experts who specialise in the treatment of eating disorders, we offer a holistic approach that integrates medical, nutritional, and therapeutic interventions to address the complex nature of anorexia nervosa.

If you or a loved one is struggling with anorexia, please don't hesitate to reach out to us today. By taking the first step towards seeking help, you are opening the door to a future filled with hope, healing, and renewed vitality.

Contact us to learn more about our treatment options and how we can support you on your journey towards anorexia recovery. Together, we can overcome anorexia and pave the way for a life filled with health, happiness, and resilience.

Frequently Asked Questions | Anorexia FAQs

What is anorexia?

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder. It's a form of self-starvation which typically presents during adolescence but can also develop later in life. People with anorexia frequently have a mistaken perception of their bodies and think they are overweight. They excessively restrict their food intake or adjust their behaviour to prevent weight gain as a result of this distorted sense of self.

One of the repetitive eating behaviours that can result from anxiety over food and weight is the reluctance to be seen eating by others. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may often collect recipes, prepare meals for friends and family, and then refuse to consume any of the food. They could also maintain strict, demanding exercise schedules in order to lose weight or keep it off.

Finding a way to talk about your concerns with a family member, friend, or another close relative is essential because anorexia is such a serious condition and early intervention is thought to be more effective than later intervention. A full recovery is harder to attain if anorexia is not treated for a longer length of time.

What causes anorexia?

Instead of having a single core cause, anorexia nervosa has a variety of different reasons. These variables can occasionally be divided into three groups:

  • Those that increase a person's risk of developing an eating disorder

Meet our anorexia specialists

Children, teens and adults receiving treatment for anorexia at our inpatient hospitals, Schoen Clinic Newbridge and Schoen Clinic York, are under the care of a comprehensive and highly specialised multidisciplinary of specialists.

If you would like to book an outpatient appointment for yourself or a loved one struggling with anorexia we have a dedicated team of specialists available at our private outpatient clinic in London, Schoen Clinic Chelsea. Learn more about the team, or get in touch to book an appointment with your chosen specialist below.

Dr Hollie Shannon

Senior Specialist Clinical Psychologist

Dr Hollie Shannon

Gail O'Brien

CYP Primary Therapist

Gail O'Brien

Emma Johnson

Principle Systemic Family Psychotherapist

Emma Johnson

Dr Lorena Dumitrache

Chartered Clinical Psychologist

Dr Lorena Dumitrache

Pilar Isla Rodriguez


Pilar Isla Rodriguez

Dr Edel McAndrew

Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Edel McAndrew

Magdalena Garcia

Clinical Psychologist & Integrative Psychotherapist

Magdalena Garcia

Dr Joan Brunton

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Joan Brunton

Dr Divina Pillay

Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr Divina Pillay

Gabriele Malinauskaite

Lead Psychotherapist

Gabriele Malinauskaite

Diana Badare


Diana Badare

Michelle Knowles

Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist

Michelle Knowles
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