Q. My niece battled anorexia for 5 years and won, but then was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Is there a link between the two? Did the damage to her body change the chemical balance that could produce the bipolar disorder? Or was the anorexia just the beginning of signs of Bipolar? I'm confused and searching for answers. My beautiful niece at the age of 25 committed suicide 3 nights ago.
A. I am truly sorry to hear about her death. Someone so young taking their own life is a tragedy.
There are higher levels of eating disorders in people with mood disorders. I do not know of anyone that has looked at the incidence of anorexia and bipolar together, but in my clinical experience it seems to be higher than one would otherwise expect. It is very unlikely that the anorexia caused the mood disorder.