Specialized Care Plans
Tapestry recognizes that clients who are diagnosed with an eating disorder might also be struggling with other behavioral health issues. In these cases, treatment plans are modified by our multi-disciplinary team to accommodate treating each disorder simultaneously—each within the context of the other. Our psychiatrist and clinicians are skilled at identifying connections between disorders and facilitating whole-person healing.
Disorders that commonly co-occur with other eating disorders may include:
- Substance abuse
- Bipolar disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Body dysmorphia
- Borderline personality disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Tapestry offers treatment for many co-occurring disorders. Clients will work with their team to address underlying causes, identify triggers, and create a comprehensive treatment plan that meets all their needs.
Often, when a person struggles with an eating disorder, they will also struggle with a mental illness. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, the following patients with eating disorders also struggle with a mental illness:
- 56 percent of people with anorexia nervosa
- 79 percent of people with a binge eating disorder
- 95 percent of people with bulimia nervosa
Depression & Eating Disorders
Of all the women struggling with an eating disorder, an estimated 92 percent were struggling with a depressive disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. However, depression is not the only mental illness that can affect those with eating disorders. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is also a common co-occurring disorder. An estimated 69 percent of people with anorexia nervosa and 33 percent of patients with bulimia nervosa suffer from OCD.
Anxiety & Eating Disorders
Another common co-occurring mental health disorder with eating disorders is anxiety. An estimated 54 to 81 percent of people with bulimia nervosa have an anxiety disorder. The next-most affected with anxiety are those with a binge eating disorder, of whom 55 to 65 percent are affected. Also, an estimated 48 to 51 percent of people with anorexia nervosa also have an anxiety disorder.
When a person suffers from these disorders together, it’s important they seek treatment at a facility that can care for both disorders. Partial hospitalization programs can help many people who are struggling.
The Prevalence of Co-occurring Addiction and Eating Disorders
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, drug and alcohol abuse occurs among half of individuals with eating disorders. This is considerably higher than the 9 percent rate seen among the general population.
Co-occurring Addiction and Eating Disorders Among Specific Populations
Co-occurring addiction and eating disorders are widespread, but there are differences in drug use between specific populations. A study published in Addictive Behaviors found connections between varying forms of disordered eating and what substances were abused:
- Study participants who engaged in bingeing were more likely to abuse alcohol
- Those who engaged in dieting with purging were more likely to engage in stimulant abuse
- Those who combined dieting with bingeing were likely to abuse prescription drugs
Additionally, a study in a 2010 edition of the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that women who were diagnosed with bulimia were more likely to have an alcohol use disorder or an illicit drug use disorder, compared to those without bulimia. Women diagnosed with anorexia were also more likely to abuse alcohol.
This study also found that women with bulimia tended to develop an addiction after the eating disorder, whereas women with anorexia were more likely to develop an addiction prior to the eating disorder. Study authors inferred that individuals with anorexia might first use substances to attempt to lose weight, whereas those with bulimia might begin using drugs to control the urge to binge.
Treatment for Co-occurring Addiction and Eating Disorders
Fortunately, individuals who are diagnosed with co-occurring addiction and eating disorders can respond effectively to treatment. Researchers for a 2011 edition of the Journal of Addictions Nursing found that individuals with eating disorders showed significant improvements six months after treatment, regardless of whether they also had a co-occurring substance use disorder. The study concluded that eating disorders and substance use disorders could be treated simultaneously, providing hope for those who suffer from co-occurring addiction and eating disorders.
To learn more about co-occurring disorders and our treatment approach, call (844) 299-1343 today.
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