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Eating Disorders Linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A study conducted at Texas A&M University - College Station found that more than 50% of the 294 eating disorder patients studied also exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The recent research confirms a 1994 study that found that PTSD patients are at high risk for developing anorexia and for resisting treatment for that eating disorder.

PTSD is an extreme response to past trauma that often results in extended periods of depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and avoidance behaviors. Commonly found in survivors of war, rape, and torture, the relatively new illness was first publicized when large numbers of Vietnam War veterans exhibited its symptoms.

Seventy-four percent of the eating disorder patients studied reported at least one traumatic event that could have triggered PTSD symptoms. Fifty-two percent reported that they suffer from PTSD symptoms.

Media Resources: Reuters - August 19, 1998



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