Eating Disorders and Co-occurring Mental Health Issues

In many cases, people who are diagnosed with mental health issues often have more than one. This is known as co-occurring mental health issues. Since eating disorders are mental health issues, many of the people who are diagnosed with eating disorders also struggle with symptoms of co-occurring mental health issues as well. But, some mental health issues are more commonly paired with eating disorders than others. Knowing more about co-occurring mental health issues with eating disorders can help people understand their particular needs and, get appropriate care that addresses more than one mental health issue.

Addressing Both Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues

Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses and should be treated as such. However, it’s important to identify whether or not a person with an eating disorder is also living with co-occurring mental health issues. This way, individuals can get treatment that addresses both issues. If a person with an eating disorder doesn’t get help for a co-occurring mental health issue, their chance of fully healing is reduced. This is because co-occurring mental health issues can trigger eating disorder symptoms and disordered eating behaviors. Treatment that addresses both eating disorders and co-occurring mental health issues is known as dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis program works to address both eating disorders as well as concurring mental health issues so that people living with co-occurring mental health issues have the best chance of treatment success.

Some of the Most Common Mental Health Issues that Co-Occur With One Another

Some mental health issues are more common for people living with eating disorders than others. Identifying these disorders in a person’s life can give them a better understanding of why they may have developed eating disorders. And, point them in the right direction for treatment of concurring disorders.

Some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health issues for people living with eating disorders include:

Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders are some of the most common mental disorders that are diagnosed in patients who are also struggling with eating disorders. People who are living with depressive disorders experience low moods including feelings of sadness and despair for periods of two weeks or longer. Some other symptoms of depressive disorders can include:

-trouble getting enough sleep or sleeping too much

-loss of interest in hobbies or passions

-avoidance of loved ones

-isolation

-trouble focusing

-suicidal thoughts or behaviors

-feelings of hopelessness

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are another category of commonly diagnosed mental health issues in people who are living with eating disorders. People with anxiety disorders have trouble managing feelings of stress and anxiety on a debilitating basis. Some other common symptoms of anxiety disorders can include:

-experiencing panic attacks

-mental and physical exhaustion

-trouble sleeping

-mood swings

-headaches

-digestive problems

-feeling on edge and overwhelmed

Getting Help for Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Conditions

Lotus Healing understands that many people who are living with eating disorders also have to tackle symptoms of concurring mental health issues to have the best chance of healing. Outpatient services allow follks who are living with eating disorders and co-occurring mental health issues to receive support and guidance throughout recovery while also being able to attend work or school responsibilities. Find out more about our outpatient eating disorder services on our website.

Dr. Dixie Brown is a PhD level Therapist, Integrative Medicine Practitioner, and Nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in Mental Health, specifically with trauma, eating disorders, and substance use.

Dixie Brown

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Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.

Lotus Healing helps substance use and mental health providers, foundations, organizations and healthcare companies address urgent healthcare challenges that impact their ability to provide high quality healthcare to vulnerable populations by prioritizing organizational leadership, structure, education and research and commitment to improved organizational wellbeing.