Research shows that more than 30 million Americans will develop an eating disorder at some point. A significant number will also be diagnosed with a co-occurring mood disorder. Anxiety is one of the most common co-occurring disorders found with eating disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety are specific anxiety disorders that co-occur with eating disorders. Co-occurring disorders require simultaneous treatment because of how they interact with one another.
At the Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we offer comprehensive mental health treatment for co-occurring disorders. Our safe, secure inpatient mental health facility provides holistic, evidence-based treatment in a comfortable, welcoming, and peaceful environment. Learn more about eating disorder treatment and anxiety treatment at Atlanta Center for Mental Health. Use our secure online form or call 833.625.0458.
Eating Disorder Treatment
Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions. Eating disorders are about much more than food and can seriously affect physical, psychological, and social functioning. Untreated eating disorders can be life-threatening. Residential treatment is strongly recommended.
The link between eating disorders and anxiety is not fully understood. However, one major study found that over 40 percent of individuals with co-occurring eating disorders and anxiety had developed the anxiety disorder in early childhood, long before the onset of the eating disorder. Anxiety can worsen the symptoms of eating disorders.
Co-occurring treatment for eating disorders and anxiety can include:
- Psychotherapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective for treating both disorders. CBT helps change maladaptive thinking patterns and develop healthier behaviors.
- Psychoeducation – Education about the disorders helps people recognize and manage symptoms.
- Trauma-focused therapy – Addresses roots of trauma that contribute to anxiety.
- Exposure therapy – A cornerstone of anxiety treatment, exposure therapy helps gradually learn to cope with triggers.
- Medication management – A combination of antidepressants and antipsychotics can help reduce symptoms.
- Group therapy – Co-occurring disorder group therapy provides essential peer support.
Nutritional counseling and wellness programs are necessary to learn mindful eating approaches, restore nutritional balance, and healthy exercise.
Signs You Need Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Anxiety disorders are among the most treatable mental health disorders. Residential treatment for anxiety offers a safe, supportive environment for those whose anxiety has become overwhelming or debilitating. A specialized anxiety treatment program provides you or your loved one with the skills and tools to overcome an anxiety disorder.
The way anxiety manifests itself is different for everyone, but some symptoms are typical across all types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Feeling “on edge,” irritable, or restless
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Feeling fatigued most of the time
- Excessive worrying or a persistent sense of doom and danger
- Obsessively avoiding particular objects or places
- Headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and muscle tension
Experiencing any of the above symptoms on most days, for six months or longer, is likely an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders respond well to psychotherapy, medications, and cognitive behavioral therapies. With a proper diagnosis and comprehensive, compassionate treatment, anxiety symptoms can be alleviated, leading to a better quality of life.
Understanding Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder
Eating disorders are a range of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits. They might start with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape. The signs and symptoms of eating disorders vary depending upon the type of eating disorder. Eating disorders have a high mortality rate compared to other mental health disorders. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders.
People with anorexia nervosa, the most well-known eating disorder, generally view themselves as overweight, even if they’re dangerously underweight. They tend to constantly monitor their weight, avoid eating certain foods, and severely restrict their calories.
People with bulimia nervosa have recurrent and frequent episodes of eating vast amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. Binge-eating episodes are followed by behavior that compensates for the overeating and can include forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, average, or overweight.
Binge Eating Disorder
People with binge eating disorder eat large amounts of food in short periods during which they typically feel they have no control. Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge eating episodes are not followed by purging behaviors. As a result, people with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese. Binge eating disorder is the most common in the United States.
Discover Eating Disorder and Anxiety Treatment at Atlanta Center for Mental Health
It is common for those with eating disorders to have a co-occurring anxiety disorder. Recovery from co-occurring disorders is not easy but is possible with the right support system in place. Using an individualized treatment plan and a range of evidence-based therapies, our staff will help you learn to manage your eating disorder and anxiety and regain stability in your life. Call Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458 or use our secure online form to learn more about co-occurring treatment for eating disorders and anxiety.