Eating disorders and co-accruing psychological disorders are common and in most cases must be treated simultaneously. Whenever there is a life threatening behavior it must be addressed immediately and then the secondary issues can explored. When someone suffers with an eating disorder over a long period of time the primary disorder may be depression of anxiety disorder. The eating disorder becomes a mechanism for coping with the primary psychological disorder. People can suffer with multiple mental health disorders and also struggle with disordered eating. Eating disorders are a sometimes fatal disease and are not always coupled with a co-accruing disorder; the diagnosis is all important.
An eating disorder sufferer may also be addicted to drugs or alcohol, shopping, sex or anything that helps them cope with a life situation that they believe is out of control. The more compulsive the behavior with the addiction becomes the more they try to control with their eating disorder. This presents a cycle that often spirals out of control until a life changing event occurs and someone intervenes. Just because the sufferer is faced with a major consequence or confronted with their behavior doesn’t mean they will change.
The overpowering often hidden emotions that drive someone with an eating disorder and co-accruing psychological disorder must be allowed to come to the surface. This can be frightening because it feels like a loss of control. Eating disorder treatment therapists, many of whom are eating normally and are living successfully with mental health disorders are the best persons to help with this process.