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Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is a neurological disorder that affects mood, cognition, behavior, and impedes adaptive functioning. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that depression is “characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” resulting in significant impairment in one’s daily life. MDD is one of the most common mental health diagnoses to co-occur with eating disorders. According to data provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) between 50% to 75% of those that struggle with an eating disorder will also experience symptoms of depression. Recognizing signs of depression in individuals recovering from an eating disorder is crucial for providing appropriate support and intervention. Psych Central highlight various warning signs of depression, particularly in the context of eating disorder recovery, some of which include:

  • Persistent low mood: Individuals recovering from an eating disorder who experience depression may exhibit persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and/ or emptiness that extend beyond typical fluctuations in mood.
  • Appetite changes: Individuals recovering from an eating disorder may already have a complex relationship with food. Depression can further impact appetite, leading to changes in eating habits such as overeating or undereating. Look for significant weight changes or fluctuations.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy: Depression often causes feelings of fatigue and low energy levels. Individuals in eating disorder recovery who are also experiencing depression may exhibit persistent tiredness, even after adequate rest.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Depression can impair cognitive functions, making it difficult for individuals to concentrate, make decisions, or complete tasks. This can interfere with the individual’s ability to engage effectively in their recovery plan.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: Depressive symptoms often involve negative self-perception. Individuals in eating disorder recovery may experience feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, or self-blame, which can contribute to emotional distress.
  • Somatic symptoms: Individuals in eating disorder recovery experiencing depression may complain of unexplained physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, muscle pain, etc.
  • Sleep disturbances: Depression often disrupts sleep patterns. Individuals in eating disorder recovery may experience insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or conversely, excessive sleeping.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure: A diminished interest in activities that were once enjoyable is a hallmark symptom of depression. Individuals in eating disorder recovery may lose interest in socializing, hobbies, and/ or other activities they once found fulfilling.

It has been well established that eating disorders and depression often coexist. Hence, a collaborative and comprehensive treatment approach that addresses both eating disorder and depressive symptoms is essential for effective recovery.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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