Dual Diagnosis Eating Disorders

Home | Co-Occurring Eating Disorder Program

“I have not consistently eaten healthful food for as long as I can remember. Being healthy isn’t hard, it just takes practice.”

Nearly 50 percent of people struggling with an eating disorder also regularly abuse substances. As a result, a large number of those seeking treatment for substance abuse have a need for treatment of a co-occurring eating disorder in order to experience full recovery.

The St. Gregory Recovery Program empowers men and women struggling with eating disorders and substance abuse to transform their lives. Our innovative program uses medical supervision, nutritional education, and cognitive behavioral therapy in a caring and supportive environment proven to help you succeed.

Medical Supervision

The first phase of our treatment program focuses on determining the severity of the eating disorder and addressing any physical damage or malnourishment that it may have caused. This phase provides around-the-clock medical monitoring and supervision. With resources including physicians, a staff psychiatrist, and 24/7 nursing, we carefully monitor guests in this first stage of treatment to lay the foundation of recovery.

As guests progress through treatment, the frequency of monitoring and medical examinations are reduced as guests are encouraged and supported in taking increased responsibility for their continued recovery. Ongoing medical care focuses on meeting nutrition and weight goals while monitoring and encouraging continually improving health.

Clinical Services

Guests are assessed individually by our staff Clinical Psychologist to determine the severity of the eating disorder and to customize a treatment plan designed to address both substance abuse and the eating disorder concurrently.

Research indicates that Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the most effective method available for treating many eating disorders. The St. Gregory Recovery Program has years of experience using the best, evidence-based practices in cognitive behavior therapy to overcome substance abuse. Additional group and individual cognitive therapy sessions are targeted specifically at identifying and changing underlying beliefs that reinforce and sustain an eating disorder.

Health and Wellness

Our medical staff consisting of physicians, nurses, personal trainers, and a dietitian work together with guests to create and monitor a diet and exercise plan that lays the foundation for healthy, lasting habits. Regular assessments and education provide a framework that allows guests a safe environment for developing and practicing the skills needed for recovery from eating disorders while also building health and wellness that allow them to live free from substance abuse.

Here are some common dual diagnoses involving eating disorders:

  • Eating Disorder and Depression: Many individuals with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, also struggle with depression. The feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that often accompany depression can exacerbate the symptoms and challenges of an eating disorder.

  • Eating Disorder and Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), can co-occur with eating disorders. Anxiety can drive disordered eating behaviors and vice versa, creating a complex cycle.

  • Eating Disorder and Substance Use Disorder: Some individuals with eating disorders may turn to substances like alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications as a way to cope with the emotional distress associated with their eating disorder. This can lead to the co-occurrence of an eating disorder and a substance use disorder.

  • Eating Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by unstable moods, self-image, and relationships. Individuals with BPD may engage in impulsive and self-destructive behaviors, including binge eating, purging, or restrictive eating, which can be components of eating disorders.

  • Eating Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Trauma, particularly related to body image or past experiences, can be a contributing factor to the development of eating disorders. Therefore, it is not uncommon for individuals with eating disorders to also have PTSD.

    Treatment for dual-diagnosis eating disorders typically involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both the eating disorder and the co-occurring mental health condition.

    This may include:

  • Psychotherapy: Different forms of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or psychodynamic therapy, can be used to address both conditions.

  • Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms of co-occurring disorders, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

  • Nutritional Counseling: A registered dietitian may be involved in the treatment process to help individuals establish a healthy relationship with food and address nutritional deficiencies.

  • Support Groups: Participating in support groups specific to eating disorders or co-occurring conditions can provide valuable peer support.

  • Inpatient or Residential Treatment: For severe cases, individuals may require inpatient or residential treatment programs that offer 24-hour care and support.

    It’s essential for individuals with dual-diagnosis eating disorders to receive personalized treatment that addresses their unique needs and challenges. Early intervention and a holistic approach to treatment can greatly improve the chances of recovery. Family and social support are also crucial elements in the recovery process.

Recovery starts here:


Our graduates tell their stories…

When first arriving at St. Gregory I had mixed feelings about the health and wellness workouts. I came in at 136 lbs and didn’t think it was possible to reach...
- Chris
The good life is not merely a life free from addictions, physical and/or psychological—addictions that usually are the outward manifestations of deeper problems—but a life lived in harmonious balance, free...
- Matt
I came to St. Gregory’s at my all-time worst—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Having gone through a bad rehab experience once before, I had been very reluctant in succumbing to that...
- CJ
No matter where I start my thought process when reflecting upon my time before, during and after St. Gregory’s, I always seem to end up in the same place in...
- Kaele


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