7 Common Signs of OCD and Eating Disorders

Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders can be challenging. These conditions significantly impact both mental and physical health.
We’ll discuss here the 7 common signs of OCD and eating disorders, their symptoms, and co-relation. Moreover, OCD and eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia nervosas can co-occur. They influence each other in some individuals due to their similarities. OCD may cause many other disorders if left untreated.
It can be tricky to see the signs of an eating disorder or OCD, especially if someone has both at the same time. In friends and family, these behaviors might seem like normal habits.
Yet, observing the initial signs of eating disorders and OCD is pretty simple. So, getting early help is best before things get worse and more challenging.
Hence, look no further than Goodness Psychiatry for top-notch support and help.

Co-relation between OCD and Eating Disorder

There is a strong association between OCD and eating disorders. Individuals with OCD experience obsessions and compulsions. It can manifest in food-related rules and rituals.
For example, obsessive fears of contamination may lead to rigid dietary restrictions. Likewise, the symmetry associated with OCD can contribute to unhealthy eating patterns. It also includes purging behaviors or strict meal planning.
Besides, researchers believe there is a shared neurological vulnerability between them. Having one disorder makes it more likely the other will develop as well.
Thus, the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors characteristic of OCD. It overlaps with and exacerbates the physiological and psychological symptoms of eating disorders.
To opt for a better opportunity to get treated better, you may contact us!

Share Traits of OCD and Eating Disorders

If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD or an eating disorder, you must be aware of its overlapping symptoms. OCD and eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia occur together.
Research shows up to 66% of those diagnosed with an eating disorder also have OCD.

7 common signs of OCD and eating disorders

OCD and eating disorders may differ, but core signs are common between them. Recognizing these warning signs can help lead to earlier intervention and treatment. So, 7 common signs of OCD and eating disorders include as:

  1. Rigid Routines

Establishing strict daily routines and rituals is common. Especially around food preparation, eating times, or amounts. It also includes cleaning or rituals to reduce anxiety about purity.

  1. Compulsive Checking

Excessive checking behaviors to relieve uncertainty, like weighing self or food many times. Moreover, counting calories, stove knobs, and turned off.

  1. Perfectionism

An extreme focus on details, rules, order, and symmetry. It also includes doing tasks the “right” way. It includes eating, food safety, household organization, or appearance.

  1. Rituals and Avoidance

Strict mental and behavioral rules or safety behaviors to prevent feared outcomes. For example, contamination or weight gain. It may also involve avoiding certain people, places, or activities that trigger anxiety.

  1. Intrusive Thoughts

Recurrent and distressing thoughts or images related to themes. These are contamination, hygiene, food, and body shape that won’t go away.

  1. Difficulty Focusing

Concentration issues result from time consumed by obsessive thoughts. Rituals or anxiety caused by eating may be concerns.

  1. Low Mood

Negative feelings of guilt, shame, and depression stem. It is due to not being able to dismiss obsessions. It also includes dissatisfaction with the body, disordered eating habits, and strict limitations.

Causes of Eating Disorders and OCD

Eating disorders and OCD often arise from both biological and environmental factors interacting. Genetically, some people are prone to obsessive-compulsive thought patterns. They are vulnerable to developing rigid routines around food.
We’ll discuss the causes of eating disorders and OCD here;

Eating Disorders

Understanding why eating disorders happen is like putting together puzzle pieces. It involves looking at different things, like how our bodies work. Our feelings, what’s around us, and what society says.
Let’s simplify and see what adds up to make eating disorders happen:

  • Genetic Factors
  • Biological Factors
  • Family Dynamics
  • Dieting Practices
  • Mental Health Conditions


  • Life stress or trauma
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Family dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Treatment options for OCD and Eating Disorder

The treatment of OCD and eating disorders involves a comprehensive and individualized approach. Here are common strategies;

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), a form of CBT, is particularly effective. It involves facing feared situations without engaging in compulsive behaviors.

  1. Medication

SSRIs are often prescribed to help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, especially serotonin.

  1. Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Therapies

Mindfulness techniques and acceptance-based therapies can be beneficial in managing obsessive thoughts. It is also beneficial in reducing anxiety.


Raising awareness of mental health is important in recognizing the signs of OCD and eating disorders. These conditions often overlap in complex ways. These signs make early identification for those facing such an issue.
We have discussed the 7 common signs of OCD and eating disorders above for your ease and easy understanding.
If you ever need help or someone to talk to; Goodness Psychiatry is here for you!


What are the eating habits of people with OCD?

People with OCD often have rigid rules around food. It’s about what they eat, when, and how they eat. Also, strict limits or unusual food preparations due to contamination fears.

Is there a link between Ed and OCD?

There is a strong association between eating disorders. For example, anorexia and bulimia with OCD symptoms are common in those with an ED.

Why do people with OCD not eat?

People with OCD sometimes do not eat due to strict rules about food, and fears of contamination. They are following rigid rituals that take precedence over nourishment. Obsessive thoughts about food can also reduce appetite.

What is the difference between OCD and ARFID?

OCD involves obsessions and compulsions around contamination and symmetry. ARFID focuses on restrictive eating. It is due to texture, taste aversions, or fear of negative health consequences.

Do people with OCD have problems with food?

OCD often involves strict rules or rituals related to food due to fears of contamination. It also includes a desire for structure or obsessive thoughts. This can lead to dietary restrictions, difficult mealtimes, and disrupted eating habits.

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