The presence of current and lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders in eating disordered individuals
Kaplan, Myra Ellen
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Investigations of affects in the field of eating disorders have primarily focused on solidifying the link between eating disorders and depression. The high rate of anxiety disorders and anxiety symptomatology found in this population has primarily been relegated to the background. The current research was designed to compare the rates of depressive and anxiety disorders among DSM III-R diagnosed anorectic, bulimic and bulimic-anorectic individuals in order to gain insight into the rates of depression and anxiety in these eating disorder subgroups.;Rates of current and lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders were obtained for 113 anorectic, bulimic and bulimic-anorectic individuals utilizing the Schedule fur Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime-version (SADS-L). The current and lifetime depressive and anxiety diagnoses that each subject qualified for were recorded and compared. Current and lifetime rates of total depressive disorders and total anxiety disorders were also compared.;High rates of depressive and anxiety disorders were found in all three eating disorder subgroups. Comparisons revealed, however, that for anorectic individuals depression may be a more pathological affect than anxiety (McNemar's Chi-Squares = 4.92, 4.08, 6.72; df = 1) while for bulimic and bulimic-anorectic individuals anxiety may be as problematic an affect as depression.;In all cases, rates of current and lifetime Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder were elevated and rates of Panic Disorder and Phobic Disorder were relatively low. This, in combination with prior research, supports a link between eating disorders, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Findings with regards to Obsessive-compulsive Disorder also suggest that there may be a unique relationship between bulimic and bulimic-anorectic symptomatology and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. Finally, several of the comparisons support prior research that has served to characterize bulimic-anorectic individuals as the most pathological of the eating disorder subgroups.