Mental Health Issues Often Linked to Anorexia

Anorexia is a mental illness that often comes with other types of mental illnesses that are in a similar category. In fact, anyone who has any of the associated psychiatric disorders below is at a higher risk of becoming anorexic.


People who suffer from various levels of depression sometimes act out their depression by not eating or by using food in an unhealthy way to make themselves feel better. Depression is a mood disorder that can cause changes in eating habits, a lack of interest in anything including self-care, and even suicidal ideation.

One thing to know about depression and anorexia is that the lack of nutrition associated with this eating disorder can also lead to depression, instead of the other way around. As a leading cause of dysfunction and even disability, depression is a very serious co-condition to be treated.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder is another disorder that is related to anxiety and is very difficult to overcome. The sufferer is inundated with intrusive thoughts that cannot be relieved in any way other than performing repetitive acts such as ritualistically cleaning the house, the body, or trying to work toward body symmetry.


Like OCD, a person who has anxiety has to deal with obsessive thoughts and often circular thoughts about the situation they find themselves in. If you are always worried and going over ideas in your mind that you cannot control, you may have significant anxiety that needs treatment through medication or therapy, or both. Many anorexics who suffer from anxiety may cope by avoiding eating or even binging and purging.

Substance Abuse and Addiction

Many people who misuse food also misuse other substances. This is very dangerous because accidental death can occur from ingesting too much alcohol or other substances often used in place of nutrition and food to help control other issues like anxiety and depression. Of course, it doesn’t work and only makes things worse.


Many people with anorexia also suffer from wanting to self-harm compulsively. For example, they might engage in cutting and other self-harm behaviors. About 30 percent of people who self-harm also use food to harm themselves – either by denying themselves food or by binging and purging.


Borderline personality disorder is characterized by feelings of emptiness, choosing poor relationships, a bad self-image, and abandonment issues. A person who has BPD and anorexia is often tough to treat due to the intense nature of the personality that has developed since birth. It’s hard to overcome this type of thing but it is possible if you know what you’re dealing with.

If you do have any of these co-conditions along with anorexia, it’s completely normal. It’s good to find out because then you’ll have more clues about how to treat it and overcome it along with your anorexia.