Evidence suggests that the earlier someone gets treatment and support, the better their chances for recovery, so it is important that people working in professional roles can identify warning signs and start conversations with people who might be struggling. In this context, Eating Disorders Victoria has been funded by the Victorian Government to develop a mobile site to facilitate early intervention for eating disorders.
How far is too far? is a simple website and campaign that explores some of the everyday behaviours and attitudes that can be early warning signs of something else going on. How far is too far? provides basic, clear and practical information about how to identify the warning signs of an eating disorder and how to support someone to get help. The website is targeted at people without training in eating disorders or mental health, but who might be in a position to initiate a conversation with someone.
You can use How far is too far? to become familiar with some of the early warning signs of an eating disorder, and to get practical tips on how to talk to someone that you’re worried about. It gives an overview of what help is out there, and how to support someone to get help early.
Warning signs to look for include:
- Taking supplements for weight loss/gain, or performance enhancement
- Steroid misuse
- Becoming anxious about missed sessions or disruption to exercise
- Training despite illness or injury
- Exercising to the point of exhaustion
- Exercising at unusual times (e.g. in a 24-hour gym, someone who comes at 3am without a legitimate reason)
- Talking about exercise or sport just as a means of burning calories or compensating for food eaten
- Fitness level not improving or even regressing despite still exercising
- Experiencing dizziness, light-headedness, or disorientation during or after exercise
- Low heart rate
- Weighing themselves frequently
- Unwillingness to take rest days
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