Close to 50 percent of people with eating disorders are known to be victims of depression (1).
Many victims of anorexia nervosa, bulimia or binge eating disorder go through their daily tasks feeling like they’re never good enough — like they don’t deserve happiness.
As the eating disorders strengthen and the victim falls deeper into depression, the person risks illness and death. Nothing is more negatively powerful than an eating disorder, so why would someone allow for the disease to take over his or her mind?
After much research, it was found that people with anxiety would be more likely to fall down the dangerous path of eating disorders, making their recovery for both disorders very difficult (2).
People with anxiety disorder often see the world as an anxiety-building adventure. They often go through their daily tasks experiencing excessive worry, tension, concern, and doubt.
Everything in their lives is subject to anxiety, which makes it very hard for them to enjoy their lives, beauty, body, intelligence, and more. People with anxiety often are concerned with their health, looks, manners, and fashion as they worry excessively about people’s opinion. Someone looking at them can easily create anxiety for people with anxiety disorders, making the victim concerned and worried about their look, body and self.
Just like eating disorders, the anxiety-driven thoughts feel out of control for the victim — they can’t find a way to get rid of them, as much as they want to. The train of thought is similar for people with eating disorders. They overanalyze their physique or let their emotions control their eating habits. People with anxiety disorders fall into the grasp of eating disorders unconsciously. Let’s take the example of the gentleman looking at a female victim of anxiety disorder.
Instead of feeling flattered, the woman will quickly start worrying about her figure, clothing, walking habits and everything in between. This worry in turn creates another train of thought, one that leads her to think about her eating habits, which then leads to her skipping a few meals, developing an emotional connection with food, or purging to look more presentable — or more invisible. As the anxiety grows and the eating disorder strengthens, depression quickly comes into the mix, mentally draining energy and physically causing illness.
The process is as simple as that. Unfortunately, all three disorders often come in a package, as one creates another. As time goes on, one disorder cannot live without another, making the victim addicted to anxiety, depression, and the eating disorder. If treatment is not sought immediately, at this stage, the victim can be faced with very dangerous results that can eventually lead to death. It’s important for victims of anxiety disorder to reach out for professional help. Treatment for more than one disorder can be difficult and lengthy, but necessary.
1. Mortality in Anorexia Nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1995; 152 (7): 1073-4. Retrieved from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
2. Eating Disorders. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/eating-disorders