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Study Shows Eating Disorder Treatment Center Patients More Likely to Have Previously Coped With an Anxiety Disorder

anxiety and eating disordersThere’s never just one single trigger for an eating disorder. For some, it might be a family history that contributes to the development of anorexia or bulimia. And for others, it might be social, like being part of a competitive sports team or being surrounded by people who focus on appearance. But it’s becoming more and more clear that certain medical disorders have a higher risk of being associated with eating disorders. Anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder have both been linked to higher occurrences of eating disorders.

An Australian study showed that for many individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder, there is a history of anxiety. In inpatient treatment centers, it was reported that 65 percent of patients had experienced anxiety and in outpatient centers, the percentage was higher at 75. The team involved with the study believes that further exploring the link between anxiety and eating disorders can help the treatment methodology involved with both disorders. Eating disorders are often associated with social anxiety, which can cause some individuals to be reclusive and alienate themselves from their surroundings.

The study also found that over 25 percent of patients in eating disorder treatment centers also reported post-traumatic stress disorder. The link between post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders had not been researched prior to the study, and the team hopes to further explore the connection between the specific characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Further data compiled by the study also showed that a small percentage of patients were linked to diagnoses of obsessive compulsive disorder. These findings show just how important it is to receive a full diagnosis when being treated for an eating disorder or a mental disorder. It’s best to treat both disorders concurrently.

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