Most people, especially women, see flaws in their bodies that they wish they could change. In most cases, they take steps to exercise and eat healthier to improve how they look. However, some women take this to the extreme, which leads to potential eating disorders. Because of that, it’s important to understand anorexia and depression and their connection.
Understanding Anorexia and Depression
Women with anorexia nervosa perceive themselves as overweight, so they strive to lose weight even when they’re thin. Weight loss becomes an obsession that involves dangerous eating habits. They usually avoid eating or eat very small amounts. Some of them control their weight through other means too, such as compulsive exercise, abusing laxatives and diuretics, and purging.
As a result, women with anorexia can develop many health problems. Some examples include muscle weakness or loss, brittle nails and hair, thinning bones, and nervous system and heart damage.
As for depression, this mood disorder involves feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and intense sadness. Women with depression may lose their appetite, have trouble sleeping, or lose interest in once-loved activities. They might also lack energy and have trouble concentrating. These symptoms can have debilitating effects for them and their loved ones.
What’s the Connection?
The connection between depression and anorexia can occur in two ways. First, it’s common for women struggling with eating disorders to develop depression as a co-occurring illness. With anorexia, being malnourished and very underweight can cause chemical changes in the brain. These changes can have a negative impact on mood, which may trigger depression.
Second, depression can be a contributing factor to anorexia. The obsession to be perfect can develop into a focus on controlling what they eat. Then, that obsession turns into an eating disorder.
Treatment Is Available at Magnolia Creek
The presence of depression and anorexia has unique features. In order to diagnose the co-occurring conditions, doctors use a series of questions to determine the symptoms. However, effectively treating the disorders requires an integrative approach that addresses both issues at the same time. Simply addressing one of them doesn’t guarantee that the other will become manageable.
The integrative treatment for depression and anorexia includes medication and therapies. The medication can get the chemical imbalance that causes depression symptoms under control. Nutrition therapy teaches women how to have a healthy relationship with food. As a result, their bodies get the nutrients that they need to heal, which also helps correct the chemical imbalance.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) deals with the underlying factors that lead to anorexia and depression. It focuses on changing the distorted feelings and thoughts that prompt the disordered eating habits. Other therapeutic services may help as well, such as art therapy, mindfulness therapy, and equine therapy.
Get Help for Anorexia Today
Do you need treatment for anorexia? Do you also suffer from depression? Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders offers dual diagnosis treatment. We can help you recover from both conditions by using a range of evidence-based and experiential services, such as:
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Yoga and mindfulness therapies
- Group and family therapy
- Adventure and wilderness therapy
- Music and art therapy
Don’t let anorexia and depression destroy your health and relationships. Get treatment at our facility today. Call 8663182329 to learn more.