Depression: A Common Occurrence in Anorexia Nervosa

Depression is an illness which can affect any of us at any time in our lives and it is often one of the symptoms the sufferer of anorexia nervosa has to contend with. Depression can bring on a number of different symptoms and you may have a few of them but it is very rare that all are felt at the same time.

Usually symptoms of depression show themselves together and if you have been ill for several weeks and have had symptoms of depression then it’s highly unlikely you will develop any more symptoms from the ones you now suffer.

The anorexic suffering from depression usually feels symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and self-hatred.

Depression and anorexia go together like black and white, it can be what triggered your eating disorder in the first place or you may have gone into depression as result of the effects anorexia has had on you.

What Does Depression Feel Like?

It is hard to explain what depression really feels like as the effect it can have on each person is so different, generally speaking though there is a sense of doom surrounding the depressed person. They feel anxious, frightened and wait for something to happen, they have no idea what that something might be, it’s just a feeling that something very bad will happen.

All sense of the person you used to be will disappear; you may withdraw into yourself completely much preferring to stay in the safe confines of your home or even your room.

Even then those “bad” feelings will linger, they may come and go but there never very far away. You may get palpitations, a quickening of the heartbeat, a fluttering of the heartbeat this can be a very frightening experience, a headache unlike any other could be one of the symptoms, the sufferer may feel as though there head is in a vice like grip.

A feeling of unreality may reside over you as though someone has thrown a thin veil over your head everything you see takes on a dull appearance, colours are subdued.

What Can Be Done To Help?

It is important to remember that you are not alone in these feelings; you may feel as though you are and perhaps even think you are losing your mind. Remember roughly 15 million people in the United States alone suffer from depression and have some of the same feelings as you are getting.

The first major step and the hardest is the admission of your depression and eating disorder, your doctor can help you on the road to recovery and there are treatments available to help you with depression.


Treatment for depression is usually by anti-depressants; your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and prescribe the most suitable one for your needs. Most anti-depressants will usually take about a month to get into your system and start giving you the full benefit.

Several different types of therapy are also used in the treatment of depression and particularly where anorexia or a similar eating disorder is involved. Therapy such as Cognitive behavioural therapy and problem solving therapy are just two that are thought to have good results when treating anorexia and depression.

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