Eating and Personality Disorders Essay

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Eating and Personality Disorders

The correlation between eating disorders and other psychological disorders is very important for our understanding of the causes and possible treatments for eating disorders. It is known that many people with eating disorders also fit the criteria for several DSM-IV psychological disorders. If researchers can find patterns of comorbidity between these two types of disorders they may be able to better diagnose and treat patients with both of these disorders. The question that I pose it what is the relationship between eating disorders and personality disorders(axis 11 disorders in DSM-IV)? It is important to look for comorbidity between the two disorders to determine the impact they have on each
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In a majority of the research articles studies were done on both patients with anorexia nervosa and patients with bulimia nervosa. During the research, as we will see, there was some difference in the comorbidity of personality disorders depending on whether the subjects were anorexic or bulimic.


Unfortunately there are no clear cut answers to the question posed at the beginning of this article. The main reason, which I will describe later, has to due with the broad range of analisation techniques used by researchers in defining and determining the rate and impact of comorbidity. There isn't any question that there is a great deal of comorbidity between eating disorders and personality disorders because most of the research done has found some correlation. The question remains as to how much of a correlation there is and what effect the personality disorders have on eating disorders. In order to examine this closer it is helpful to look at the results of several major experiments.

Johnson, Tobin, and Enright (1989).

In this experiment 94 consecutive patients seeking treatment for eating disorders were evaluated for several other psychological problems including the prevalence of borderline disorder. 25% of the patients met the criteria for borderline personality
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