Are Eating Disorders a Type of Anxiety Disorder?Fragiskos Gonidakis*
National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Greece
- *Corresponding Author:
- Fragiskos Gonidakis
MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Eating Disorders Unit, First Department of Psychiatry
National and Kapodestrian University of Athens
School of Medicine, Eginition Hospital, Vas Sofias 74str, 11528, Athens, Greece
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: May 06, 2016; Accepted date: May 25, 2016; Published date: May 28, 2016
Citation: Gonidakis F (2016) Are Eating Disorders a Type of Anxiety Disorder? J Depress Anxiety 5:232. doi:10.4172/2167-1044.1000232
Copyright: © 2016 Gonidakis F. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
One common feature that is observed in most of the patients that suffer from an eating disorder (ED) regardless of the exact diagnosis is excessive anxiety. Considering the comorbidity between ED and anxiety disorders most of the research have shown that ED patients have higher rates of anxiety disorders than normal controls. It is interesting that more than two thirds of the patient report that the onset of the anxiety disorder to precede the onset of the ED. Food restriction can reduce anxiety by creating a feeling of achievement and self-control. Also it distracts the individual from other perfectionistic goals that are more difficult to achieve. On the other hand, binge eating can be used as a way of reducing unpleasant emotions and especially anxiety. It is probable that ED and anxiety disorders share common etiological factors, and that these factors can increase an individual’s susceptibility to either disorder. Furthermore, food restriction and binge eating seem to have some kind of “anxiolytic” biological and psychological effect and thus can be regarded as a reinforced self-healing behavior for patients that have been suffering from severe anxiety prior to the onset of ED.