National Eating Disorders Association

Mental Health ConditionsAn eating disorder diagnosis can be challenging enough on its own, and many individuals have other issues that can accompany the eating disorder. Anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are just a few additional mental health issues that frequently co-occur with eating disorders. Sometimes, the other disorder may be a result of eating disorder behaviors, as binging, purging, and restricting can all cause psychological distress. 

A co-occurring mental health diagnosis can begin around the same time as an eating disorder, can precede it, or can crop up after the eating disorder has already begun. Mood and anxiety disorders most commonly occur alongside eating disorders, but post-traumatic stress disorder is also common. 

Some mental disorders can be risk factors for eating disorders, indicating that a person may be more likely to later develop an eating disorder. A study of more than 2400 individuals hospitalized for an eating disorder found that 94% of the participants had a co-occurring mood disorder, with 92% of those in the sample struggling with a depressive disorder. Of the 56% of individuals who were diagnosed with anxiety disorders, 20% had obsessive compulsive disorder.

Recent research finds that 32-39% of people with anorexia nervosa, 36-50% of people with bulimia nervosa, and 33% of people with binge eating disorder are also diagnosed with major depressive disorder. 48-51% of people with anorexia nervosa, 54-81% of people with bulimia nervosa, and 55-65% of people with binge eating disorder are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder.

Infographic: Eating Disorders & Co-Occurring Conditions

Co-Occurring Conditions InfographicGet the facts on eating disorders and co-occurring conditions with our infographic!