Psychologists believe that one-third to one-half of all people with eating disorders also 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 than to also have another type of mental disorder. If not depression or anxiety, the problem could be substance abuse or another type of disorder. Individuals with eating disorders and another mental health disorder, like depression or substance abuse, are considered dual diagnosis. They have at least one simultaneously co-occurring mental health problem, and can sometimes have four or more ongoing mental health problems.
Our mood affects how we eat and how much we eat. When are mood is negatively impacted, some people don’t eat enough, while others overeat to feel better. Similarly, some have insomnia while others oversleep. And for some, as their mood changes, they develop body issues, which puts them at even higher risk for an eating disorder.
If you have an eating disorder, it is crucial to watch out for the following depression symptoms. With depression you:
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to be depressed; symptoms vary from person to person. People with eating disorders, because their food consumption is wildly off-base, deprive themselves nutrients that help normally elevate mood. The constant stress associated with obsessing over body-image or controlling food intake can also contribute to depression.
Treatment of depression and eating disorders can often overlap. Psychologists use dialectical behavior therapy in both the treatment of depression and eating disorders. Therapies like DBT provide useful skills in emotional regulation that can be applied to both conditions. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy (TMS) is another mental health treatment that is effective in treating both depression and eating disorders. The magnetic pulses used in TMS stimulate parts of the brain that are sub-active due to chronic depression or eating disorders.
If you’re seeking eating disorder treatment, you’ll probably be asked questions about whether you’re depressed. It’s important to report both conditions so that they can be treated in concert. You can improve your mood while recovering from an eating disorder. Our treatment team in Delray Beach are here to assist you – call us at 888-551-6281 if you’re struggling with depression or an eating disorder.