Eating disorders and anxiety frequently occur together. In one study of 672 adults with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, about two-thirds of the individuals had one or more anxiety disorder either in the past or currently. Of these adults with eating disorders, 41% had obsessive compulsive disorder, 20% had social phobia, 15% had a specific phobia, 13% had post-traumatic stress disorder, 11% had panic disorder, and 10% had generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment will address both the eating disorder and the anxiety disorder problems and is tailored to achieve a reduction of the most distressing symptoms first. Treatment may include different elements, such as CBT and pharmacotherapy. More information on treatment of anxiety disorders can be found here.

Citation: Kaye, W.H., Bulik, C.M., Thornton, L, Barbarich, N., Masters, K., and the Price Foundation Collaborative Group. (2004). Comorbidity of anxiety disorders with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 2215-2221.