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Eating Disorder | Co-Occurring Conditions - Signs, Symptoms,Treatment, and Recovery. Our Treatment Centers Center specializes in treating this Eating Disorder.

Eating Disorder and Co-Occurring Conditions | Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating Disorder

and Co-Occurring


Eating Disorder


Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorders are present with an eating disorder in a significant percentage of individuals.  There is a 64% reported rate of lifetime anxiety disorders amongst individuals with eating disorders.  It is also reported that up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders suffer from clinical depression.  Attempts at recovery can be futile in the absence of a thorough assessment, proper diagnosis, robust nourishment, mood disorder coping skills, and when appropriate, efficient pharmacological treatment. 

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What is the focus of our Eating Disorder and Co-Occurring Conditions treatment at the Treatment Centers recovery center?

Because each individual has unique circumstances, specific goals for Co-Occurring eating disorder treatment will vary from person to person. More generally, eating disorder treatment in our Treatment Centers location, might help someone:

  • Identify underlying factors which may have contributed to the development of the eating disorder

  • Understand the purpose of the eating disorder and why it has persisted

  • Develop a new set of skills to navigate one’s life and effectively cope with emotions and stress

  • Improve communication, connection and relationships with loved ones

  • Heal the relationship with food through nutrition education and experiential activities

In addition, eating disorders frequently co-exist with other issues, such as depression, anxiety or the effects of trauma. It is absolutely essential that the eating disorder and any other co-occurring disorders are simultaneously addressed and treated in order for the individual to fully recover.

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Traumatic lifetime experiences like death, illness, loss, abandonment or perception of abandonment, bullying and forms of abuse significantly impact the psyche and physiological state of the individual.  Trauma is also a subjective experience and individuals with a sensitive temperament are likely to have the experience of trauma from experiences that others may not perceive as traumatic.  Exposure to prolonged states of stress caused by trauma can impact functioning, health and immunity, as well as lead to the development of an eating disorder and co-occurring conditions like depression and substance abuse.


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for individuals 15-44 years of age. Lost wages, medications, psychotherapy treatment, suicide treatment, co-occurring conditions - mental health disorders and associated medical diseases all contribute to this disability cost. Major depressive disorder is characterized by a sad mood, inability to concentrate, loss of interest and other symptoms that affect how an individual thinks and feels. This disorder can result in stress at home, poor workplace performance and turmoil in relationships.


Eating Disorder Women - Orlando, FL

Anxiety disorders consist of generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, panic disorder and agoraphobia and are characterized by an intense state of worry and fear resulting from a threatening event or life stressor. Anxiety can be normal in cases of everyday stress or serious life stressors and individuals usually overcome this worry once the stressor dissipates. However, in individuals with an anxiety disorder, their state of worry becomes more intensified over time.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Eating Disorder Women - Orlando, FL

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder defined by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as having repetitive and persistent thoughts that are intrusive in nature. These distressful thoughts are either repressed or carried out by compulsions, which are repetitive actions in response to the persistent thoughts carried out in order to relieve the tension and anxiety brought by the thoughts. Examples of compulsions include tapping, counting, praying, checking, hand washing, cleaning and repeating words over and over again.

Self-Harm or Self Injury

Self-injury is the purposeful action of inducing physical harm to oneself and is a very severe sign of emotional distress. According to the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), self-harm is formally known as nonsuicidal self-injury disorder (NSSID) as these self-destructive behaviors are performed without any intention of suicide. Adolescents are at the highest risk for self-harm injury as many studies state that roughly 15% of teenagers and 17-35% of college students have inflicted self-harmful behaviors on themselves. This disorder is increasing among the young population and can have severe consequences if not treated appropriately. Cutting, burning, skin carving, biting, poisoning, purposeful interference with wound healing, extreme skin picking and hair pulling are all examples of self-injury or self-harm.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive illness is a mood disorder characterized by periods of profound depression that alternate with periods of excessive elation and irritable mood known as mania. Individuals will suffer from extreme mood swings that interfere with personal relationships, occupational function, and daily activities. It is common for bipolar disorder to be apart of a co-occurring disorder, which refers to mental health illnesses that co-occur with substance abuse disorders such as opioid, alcohol or cocaine abuse. Bipolar disorder can often co-occur with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and when these disorders co-occur, there is a higher likelihood of substance abuse and suicide attempts. Bipolar disorder can be characterized into three types: bipolar disorder type I (BPI), bipolar disorder type II (BPII) and cyclothymia and differences depend on the frequency, duration and severity of the alternating symptoms.

"[Center For Discovery’s] treatment approach emphasizes the importance of using food as fuel for the body and that recovery is not just about weight restoration, but working on multiple aspects of ourselves."

Yolanda E.
Discovery Alumni
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Take a tour of our Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Our eating disorder treatment centers specialize in treating Eating Disorders and Co-Occurring Conditions and customizes treatment for the individual to get well on the way to recovery.


For more information, resources, or to consult with an eating disorder treatment specialist, call 866.482.3876

Do I have an eating disorder?

Does my loved one have an eating disorder?

Do I have an eating disorder?

Does my loved one have an eating disorder?

Center For Discovery