Further Understanding Dual Diagnosis of Depression and Eating Disorders

Willow Place on April 25, 2022
Further Understanding Dual Diagnosis of Depression and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders occur when a person doesn’t like how they look in terms of weight, size, and body shape. While these feelings don’t always lead to eating disorders, having these negative self-thoughts can develop into a cycle of disordered eating. People with eating disorders may attempt to change their bodies and never be satisfied. Or, they may use eating as a crutch in order to deal with unwanted, negative emotions. Disordered eating behaviors can include underreating, skipping meals, bingeing, using diuretics, and purging. These symptoms are commonly known and understood symptoms of eating disorders. But, what many may not know is that depression is also a common symptom of eating disorders. Understanding the correlation between depression and eating disorders can help people dealing with these concurring disorders how to get help and maintain a healthy mental health recovery journey. 

An Insight Into What Depression Is

Depression is a type of mental health illness that’s classified as a mood disorder, as the symptoms of this condition affect a person’s mood. It’s the most common congruent mental health issue that people with eating disorders face. Some of the signs and symptoms of depression can include: 

  • experiencing severe levels of anxiety
  • sleeplessness or sleeping too much
  • feelings of shame, worthlessness, despair, and sadness
  • chronic fatigue
  • mood swings
  • trouble focusing

The symptoms of depression can keep a person from living a full and established life as they can negatively impact social relationships, career development, and more. And, as symptoms of depression can sometimes include suicidal thoughts and idealization, the risks of suicidal fatality are higher for people who are living with depressive disorders. 

The Tie Between the Two Disorders

Eating disorders and depressive disorders are two different classifications of mental health conditions. However, living with eating disorders can lead to the development of depressive disorders. And, living with depressive disorders can lead to disordered eating behaviors and eating disorders. Having an eating disorder 

It’s believed that living with an eating disorder can lead to the development of depressive disorders due to the fact that food is responsible for a number of brain functions, including mood regulation. So, underreating or restricting the eating of specific foods can lead to mood dysregulation that can result in depressive disorders. Furthermore, experiencing the negative symptoms of eating disorders such as unhealthy self-image and reduced self-esteem can lead to the development of feelings associated with depressive disorders, including depressed moods, mood swings, and feelings of guilt and shame. 

Getting Help for Eating Disorders and Depression

People who are living with congruent mental health issues, including depressive disorders and eating disorders, should consider seeking help from a mental health establishment that offers dual diagnosis care. Dual diagnosis is when a person is diagnosed with more than one mental health condition. As mental health conditions can stimulate symptoms of other mental health issues, it’s important to address both at the same time in treatment so that treatment is most effective. 

Willow Place for Women offers gender-specific care for women struggling with mental health issues including eating disorders and depression on an outpatient basis. Find out more about the outpatient services we offer at our facility located in Asheville, North Carolina by visiting out website. 

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

Note: Your details are kept strictly confidential.