What’s the connection between eating disorders and mental health?


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Did you know that many individuals who have an eating disorder often struggle with a co-occurring mental health condition, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or depression? In fact, eating disorders often develop as coping mechanisms for many of these conditions. Is there a link between eating disorders and other mental health problems?


Eating Order Statistics



Anorexia is a serious mental illness and is the third most common chronic illness among young adults. Research shows us that anorexia frequently co-occurs with some type of psychiatric disorder – 56% of those with anorexia have at least one other mental health disorder. One study found that over a third of those with a diagnosis also have major depressive disorder. In addition, roughly half of the individuals with anorexia have comorbid anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.


Bulimia is more prevalent than anorexia, with roughly 1-3% of teens in the US and almost 5% of women developing the disorder. Nearly half of individuals with bulimia have a comorbid mood disorder, and more than half have anxiety disorders. A third of those with bulimia also suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Binge Eating Disorder

Eating disorder statistics show that roughly 3.5% of women suffer from binge eating disorder at some point in their life, making it the most common eating disorder in the US. In fact, binge eating disorder is three times more prevalent among the general population than anorexia and bulimia combined.

Just over 79% of individuals with binge eating disorder also have a co-occurring mental health condition. Over half of those with binge eating disorder have some form of anxiety disorder, and almost one-third of sufferers also struggle with a personality disorder.

Clinically-Excellent Treatment

With statistics showing the prevalence of co-occurring mental health conditions with an eating disorder, addressing both during treatment is vital.  At Selah House, we address any co-occurring condition in addition to the eating disorder. Our clinically-excellent program uses evidence-based therapies to treat the underlying issues of both disorders and support long-term recovery. Finding the right treatment can be challenging. We offer a step-down approach that helps you make a smooth transition through your recovery journey.  You are never alone, Selah House is here for you. To learn more about our comprehensive eating disorder treatment program, call us at 765.819.2524 or complete our contact form.

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