Schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa – reciprocal relationships. A literature review
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Zakład Neuropsychiatrii Klinicznej Katedry Psychiatrii UM w Lublinie
Koło Naukowe przy Zakładzie Neuropsychiatrii Klinicznej Katedry Psychiatrii UM w Lublinie
I Klinika Psychiatrii, Psychoterapii i Wczesnej Interwencji UM w Lublinie
II Klinika Psychiatrii i Rehabilitacji Psychiatrycznej UM w Lublinie
Submission date: 2015-12-10
Final revision date: 2016-05-31
Acceptance date: 2016-06-03
Online publication date: 2016-09-15
Publication date: 2017-04-30
Corresponding author
Justyna Morylowska-Topolska   

Zakład Neuropsychiatrii Klinicznej Katedry Psychiatrii UM w Lublinie, ul Głuska 1, 20-439 Lublin, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2017;51(2):261-270
Although schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa are seemingly very distinct psychiatric disorders, their symptoms are connected by various types of relationships. The present article reviews the literature and recapitulates the views of various authors on the links between these two disorders. Symptoms of anorexia may 1) precede the onset of psychosis; 2) evolve in its active phase or more rarely manifest in remission; and, conversely, 3) psychotic symptoms may occur transiently in the course of anorexia nervosa. When anorexia precedes the manifestation of psychosis, symptoms of anorexia can be treated as a component of the prodromal phase of schizophrenia. Another possibility of co-existence of a psychosis (e.g., schizophrenia) with anorexia is when the eating disorder syndrome manifests at the same time as the full-blown psychotic syndrome. In such cases, when the symptoms of the two disorders occur simultaneously, it is often difficult to say whether the patient is suffering from schizophrenia, in the course of which anorexia has arisen secondary to psychotic symptoms or whether he/she is suffering from anorexia during which he/she has developed psychotic symptoms, usually thematically associated with eating. Studies published so far, mainly case reports, point to the complex nature of the interrelationships between schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa. Further research is needed to conclusively explain the relationships between psychotic disorders and anorexia nervosa, which would allow physicians to use more effective methods of treatment in this group of patients.
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