Enduring Medicine Changes for Co-Occurring Disorders in Addition to the Eating Disorder

Contributed by: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC for Eating Disorder Hope

Eating disorders can commonly occur with other mental health illnesses, such as mood disorders, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychotic disorders, and impulse control and addiction disorders.

While co-occurring disorders are complex to treat, there are effective treatment methodologies that allow an individual to recover from both an eating disorder and other mental health issue. The key for treating these disorders is professional help and treatment.

The Variety of Treatment Methods for Mental Health

The type of treatment that is involved for addressing co-occurring disorders involves a variety of disciplines, including professional counseling/psychotherapy, medical and nutrition rehabilitation, and pharmacotherapy, or the administration and use of prescription.

Many prescription medications can be helpful and effective in managing symptoms of mental health conditions. The combination of medications with counseling and therapy can be a tremendous tool for recovery.

A psychiatrist or medical doctor, both who can be part of the treatment team typically manages medications. The collaborative effort of professionals on a treatment can provide the resources needed to overcome co-occurring disorders.

Dealing with Medication Changes

One of the challenges of pharmacotherapy is the adjust period of medication changes. Often times, when psychotropic medications are introduced or initiated, there is often an adjustment phase where the prescribing physician will attempt to find the right medication and dosage.

Because of the variety of prescription medications available for mental illnesses, it may be necessary to observe how an individual is responding to a medication before determining if changes are necessary. If a person is not responding well to a new drug or to a particular dose, modifications are typically made.

Communicating About Any Problems with the Medication

Adjusting psychotropic medications can be physically uncomfortable. You may experience some unpleasant side effects through the process, which can be difficult to deal with on top of everything you are going through.

It is important to regularly communicate with your physician throughout this process and report anything that does not seem or feel right to you. You are the best judge of your body and will be the first to know if something is off. During this phase of your treatment, you may also consider modifying your schedule with minimal activity.

This will allow your body the opportunity to rest as needed and adjust to these changes. Always be sure to discuss any concerns you might have with your physician and treatment team!

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What has been your experience with medication changes during treatment? How did you best handle these changes?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 13th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.