Eating disorders are complicated mental illnesses. People with an eating disorder commonly have other mental health issues, creating a dual diagnosis.



Our mental health nurses and psychologists are trained to treat people with eating disorders alongside other mental health disorders. Our team help people with a dual diagnosis by providing access to evidence-based therapy.

Common mental health issues that we support alongside eating disorders are:

This is not an exhaustive list of possible mental health issues associated with eating disorder.

If you would like to find out what else we treat please contact us.

Alcohol use disorder

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is an addictive disorder in which an individual relies on alcohol as a coping mechanism for emotional or situational circumstances. Eating disorders and AUDs commonly co-occur, although the patterns of comorbidity differ by eating disorder subtype; anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are usually the most commonly associated. AUD may contribute to eating disorder pathology due to the compulsive nature of it, and the tendency for someone to use food and drink as a mechanism for coping with emotion or controlling life situations.

To find out more about how we can help with AUD and eating disorders please contact us.

Anxiety disorder

Anxiety is the feeling of worry, concern, fear, nervousness, and/or uneasiness. It is thought that between 30-45% of people with an eating disorder also live with anxiety. Anxiety in eating disorders can present in two ways. Firstly, Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can contribute to, or be a result of, the disordered eating behaviours. Secondly, specific phobias can contribute to disordered eating behaviours and specific food-related thoughts. To find out more about how we can help with eating and anxiety disorders please contact us.

Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is the term used to describe a range of behavioural, sensory and cognitive dysfunctions. People with autism often display some of the following symptoms:

There is a wide spectrum of autism and they may have one or more of these attributes. Those with autism can often display disordered eating due to reduced social understanding, obsessive and controlling behaviours. To find out more about how we can help with ASD and eating disorders please contact us.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

BDD is an anxiety disorder which causes individuals to become obsessed with their body and body image, causing them to imagine defects and have a distorted idea of how they look to themselves and to others. Although it does not directly affect eating, it can cause excessive dieting and exercise. It is also common in people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa , bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. To find out more about how we can help with BDD and eating disorders please contact us.

Depression disorder

Depression is a serious medical illness which causes substantial mood depletion/absence, causing individuals to feel low, empty, and unable to feel ‘themselves’. It can cause people to change how the are as a person and even lose motivation and interest in activities they used to enjoy. Depression varies from person to person but it is commonly linked with eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa , bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

People with depression are often embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help so they live with it for a long time. For those with eating disorders as well as depression, weight loss, starvation or the binge and purging cycle can provide a way of coping with their depression as it can feel like they have no one to turn to. To find out how we can help with depression and eating disorders, please contact us.

Learning disabilities

Learning disabilities present differently in each individual, however there are some common factors. Someone with a learning disability has increased difficulties with activities that most can do every day, they also have reduced intellectual abilities. Children and adults with learning difficulties may find eating or self feeding difficult or they may have had negative experiences as a child. Because of these reasons, those with learning difficulties sometimes develop eating disorders, this could be as a way of exerting control and power or due to depression and/or chemical imbalances in the brain. To find out how we can help with learning disabilities and eating disorder please contact us.

Intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts is what is used to describe when an individual has negative, unpleasant, obsessive thoughts that causes them to be low in mood, upset or anxious. Individuals who have these thoughts feel like they can't control them or forget about them. Sometimes these intrusive thoughts can contribute to disordered eating, given their compulsive nature. To find out find out how we can help with eating disorders and intrusive thoughts please, contact us.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD is a mental health disorder in which the individual has obsessive thoughts that causes a compulsion to act upon them. It is very closely linked with intrusive thoughts. With OCs, the thoughts they are having cause them to behave in a repetitive way or mental act to help relieve the thought they are having. OCD can develop in people at any age and is common in individuals with eating disorders. They sometimes develop dually as a coping mechanism response to a life trauma or stressful period in their life. our mental health nurse can assess an individual who is showing signs of OCD and recommend psychological treatment for them. To find out find out how we can help with eating disorders and OCD please contact us.

Personality disorder

A personality disorder is a mental health condition where an individual has episodes of erratic behaviour which is considered distorted, or it changes rapidly from one minute to the next. There are several different personality disorders and most of them are commonly associated with eating disorders. An individual may have a personality disorder if they often feel stressed, overwhelmed, avoid people or have a fear of being abandoned by people, show behaviour which is very different or odd compared to most, difficulty in sustaining relationships with people, may act unreasonably to people. Personality disorders usually present in teenagers, however, it may not have even been diagnosed. Traumatic events during childhood or stress can sometimes bring upon a dual diagnosis of personality disorder and an eating disorder. Our team of professionals are expertly trained in managing eating disorders and mental illnesses. To find out how we can help with personality disorder and eating disorders, please contact us.

Self harm

Self harm is when an individual will purposely hurt themselves repeatedly, through scratching, banging their head, hair pulling, biting, cutting or other tools they can cause pain with. It is also described as non-suicidal self injury and self-injurious behaviour. Self harm is usually a coping mechanism from traumatic events, abuse which may have happened in the past or is still occurring or unhappiness. Self harm is commonly associated with eating disorders given the similar psychological thoughts and processes, and our team of mental health professionals can help individuals with self harm behaviours and eating disorders. To find out how we can help with self-harm and eating disorders please contact us.

Substance use disorder

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is an addictive disorder in which an individual relies on drugs and other harmful substances as a coping mechanism for emotional or situational circumstances. Substances can range from ‘legal highs’ to illegal drugs. Lifetime prevalence of any substance use is on average 25% in those with anorexia nervosa , 49% in bulimia nervosa (BN), and 29% in OSFED. SUD is likely to be associated with an eating disorder given the compulsive nature of it and the way both are a result of coping with, or taking control of, emotions. To find out how we can help with SUD and eating disorders please contact us.

Suicidality

Individuals with suicidality behaviour have regular and overwhelming thoughts about ending their own life. They also may have previous attempts of trying to end their life or are thinking about doing it in the future. Suicide is one of the most common cause of death in people with eating disorders, however, with suitable treatment and support individuals can recover from both the eating disorder and suicidal thoughts. Our team can offer a full mental health nurse assessment and provide the psychological treatment and support an individual needs. It's important for them to know they are not alone.

Trauma

Trauma was originally defined as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. In recent years the definition of trauma has expanded to now include severe emotional or psychological abuse. Trauma, especially in childhood, has been linked to the onset of eating disorders as a psychological coping mechanism for emotion or as a means for a young person to feel in control of a situation. This is most common for anorexia nervosa. In some cases, trauma has been linked to multiple impulsive behaviour, which in turn contributes to the impulsive nature of binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. Our team can offer a full mental health nurse assessment and provide the psychological treatment and support the child or young person needs. Our team is trained in safeguarding children and young people who have experienced trauma. To find out how we can help with trauma and eating disorders please contact us.

How do I contact you?

We can get you an immediate assessment and decide which treatment option would be best for your loved one.

Book a visit, or give us a call on 0161 820 8010

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