Anxiety is an emotion that functions as a warning system of potential danger. It
stems from our evolutionary "fight or flight" instinct. Physical
indicators of anxiety can include: tightening in the chest, difficulty
breathing, increased heart rate, sweaty to the touch, and/or clammy skin. Individuals
with eating disorders oftentimes experience heightened anxiety at the onset of
treatment/recovery and during periods of significant change. It is not uncommon
for individuals to experience multiple symptoms of anxiety or have panic
attacks when pushed to deviate from their "ritualistic" patterns of
eating, or to eat certain "fear foods". It is important for them to
develop skills and use support to move through the anxiety provoking
event/situation and not avoid it. DSM diagnostic conditions under Anxiety:
Research demonstrates a significant co-morbidity between anorexia nervosa and anxiety disorders. The most common anxiety disorders that are present with anorexia nervosa are generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobia. Whereas the most commonly observed co-morbid anxiety disorders in women with bulimia nervosa are social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder.
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