A good number of people with eating disorders also have depression. Fortunately, once both issues are diagnosed, the treatment is often the same.
Psychologists say that one-third to one-half of all people with eating disorders have symptoms of depression or anxiety. In fact, people who have eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, are more likely to have another type of mental disorder than people who don’t. If not depression or anxiety, the problem could be substance abuse or another type of disorder.
The Connection Between Eating Disorders and Mood
Mood affects how you eat and how much you eat. Some people don’t eat enough, while others eat too much. Similarly, some have insomnia while others oversleep. And for some, as their mood changes, they have body issues, which can put them at even higher risk for an eating disorder.
If you have an eating disorder, watch out for the follow depression symptoms. With depression you:
- Feel persistently sad, anxious, or empty
- Feel hopeless or pessimistic
- Feel guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Are irritable or restless
- Are not interested in things you used to like
- Feel tired and don’t have energy
- Have trouble concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions
- Have trouble sleeping or sleep too much
- Have lost your appetite or are overeating
- Have thought about suicide
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to be depressed; symptoms vary from person to person.
Eating Disorder Treatment and Treating Depression
Treatment of depression and eating disorders can often overlap. Psychologists use dialectical behavioral therapy for treating depression and eating disorders, which involves changing the way you think about and interpret life events.