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CNS Drugs. 2006;20(8):655-63.

Management of psychiatric comorbidity in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

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Program for Eating Disorders and the Department of Psychiatry, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa present with comorbidity in a number of important areas, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and other phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder) and substance abuse. The most important principle of treating comorbidity in these conditions is the recognition of the effect of starvation and unstable eating on both the diagnosis and response to treatment of the comorbidity. This article reviews the identification of the most common areas of comorbidity and describes treatment approaches for these conditions. When it occurs, clinicians should treat comorbidity in patients with eating disorders in the usual fashion, but must remain aware that the disturbed eating itself will negatively affect response to treatment.

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