What are Co-Occurring Disorders?

You might be wondering what the term “co-occurring disorder” means when used in reference to eating disorders. When people suffer from an eating disorder, often-times there might also be other psychological conditions as well, such as depression and anxiety.

These can be a result of the eating disorder or a coping mechanism to help a person cope from their current situation. When someone is struggling with self-image issues, the results can lead to manifestations of depression and anxiety that a teen could hardly be in a position to deal with, much less manage effectively.

Anxiety and Eating Disorders

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America or ADAA, eating disorders typically occur with anxiety disorders that could aggravate their symptoms and make their recovery an even tougher road ahead. During treatment it is important to address all issues a person is struggling with. By creating a treatment approach which has been designed to address multiple a person is ensuring that they are taking the steps necessary to establish a foundation that is strong and can provide support when life shows up.

Drug Addiction and Eating Disorders

Because there sometimes is a link that occurs between eating disorders and drug addiction, it can be a struggle to identify what the root of the problem is. Either way, both addiction and eating disorders are endemic of a struggle with issues of mental health. The main goal is to approach both situations with the open-mindedness which will allow for both disorders to be treated.

Co-occurring Disorder Treatment

By addressing one issue that you are struggling with does not necessarily mean that the other issue or issues that are co-occurring will lose its impact without taking the proper steps to treat the other issue, whatever it may be. That’s why it’s important to seek out help for all conditions so you know if you’re doing better. One possible type of co-occurring disorder treatment you could look into is an integrated treatment program, says the American Addiction Centers or AAC.

It’s a treatment plan that’s been uniquely designed to address the needs and cases of a patient and include a range of treatment solutions designed to address your co-occurring disorders. So whether the eating disorder comes with a lot of anxiety issues or a growing problem with drug addiction, or both, treatment is possible.


So don’t try to self-medicate or self-treat if you suspect if you’ve got co-occurring disorders on your hands. Make sure you seek out professional help for your conditions. For more information on treatment and recovery, ask us.

Leave a Comment