Exploring The Link Between Bipolar Disorder & Eating Disorders

I recently came across the very moving and informative US documentary on anorexia treatment entitled ‘Thin’.  Following the highs and lows of several women who were engaged in a desperate battle with a serious, but deeply misunderstood illness, made for difficult watching.  Many of these women were also fighting anxiety disorders and depression.  And so I wondered – is there a link between such disorders and bipolar disorder? In turns out that there is indeed such a correlation.

Writing in http://www.psychcentral.com, Jessica Ward Jones makes the point in her article 2011 article ‘High Rate of Eating Disorders in Bipolar Patients‘ that several studies have shown that eating disorders appear to occur more frequently in individuals with bipolar disorder.  According to a recent study reported on by Ward Jones, ‘more than 14 percent of patients with bipolar disorder also suffer from an eating disorder, and these individuals are likely to have a more severe course of illness‘.

The study, entitled ‘Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in 875 patients with bipolar disorders‘, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders by Dr. Susan L. McElroy of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and colleagues, suggests that further research is required in order to properly understand the link between bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

What is for certain is that both conditions occurring on their own is devastating enough; imagining what it must be like when they co-occur is very difficult indeed.

You can read Dr. Ward Jones’ article here.

You can also watch the documentary ‘Thin‘ below:

7 thoughts on “Exploring The Link Between Bipolar Disorder & Eating Disorders

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