Co-Occurring Disorders Common in Those Suffering from Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder TreatmentWhen someone has a co-occurring disorder or dual disorder, it means that he or she is suffering from two or more psychiatric conditions simultaneously. Further, being diagnosed with an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa concurrently with another psychiatric disorder that isn’t addressed or identified could substantially interrupt the recovery process and add to the risk of relapse.

The following psychiatric disorders commonly co-occur with eating disorders:

Drug or Alcohol Abuse

It is estimated that half of people suffering from eating disorders likewise struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. According to a renowned anorexia treatment center, co-occurring disorders need proper evaluation and treatment specifically developed to meet the needs of the patient.

Anxiety Disorders

Approximately 2/3 of people struggling with eating disorders will likewise suffer with anxiety disorders including social phobia, OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. In addition, studies have shown that early onset of any anxiety disorder could increase the risk of an individual developing bulimia or anorexia in later life.


Majority of studies indicate that half to 75% of people who suffer from an eating disorder will go through depression at some time in their life. It’s likewise crucial to note that those with eating disorders and previous diagnosis of depression have an increased suicide risk.

PSTD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Research also shows that there’s a high co-occurrence of eating disorders and trauma. PTSD usually develops after an individual has been exposed to a traumatic incident that made them feel helpless and threatened their safety like sexual or physical abuse, natural disasters, or military combat.


Self-harm occurs when an individual directly and intentionally injures his or her body, enough to hurt, but not to actually kill. It is common among adolescents and young adults between 12 and 24 years old.

BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder

Around 6% to 11% of individuals struggling with eating disorders also suffer from BPD. In addition, one research shows that those with BPD have a higher occurrence of eating disorders based on their finding that around 54% of those with BPD likewise met the same criteria for eating disorders.

Coming up with an effective treatment plan could be more complex when an eating disorder is involved since unhealthy body weight and malnourishment could heighten or induce psychiatric symptoms that might seem similar to other conditions like depression and anxiety.