Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why they need to get rid of atypical anorexia

Atypical Anorexia.

I don't understand what that diagnosis is supposed to express. You're starving yourself to death, but you either started at a higher weight, have a lower metabolism or your body reacts differently to starvation, so let's give you a different diagnosis.
It's like saying that people who suffer from depression and don't like pizza should have a different diagnosis. Eating disorders are so unrelated to weight. Eating disorders can cause weight loss, gain, maintenance, or changes in body composition which may or may not accompany weight change.

Secondly, anorexia sub-type binge/purge is a great addition to the DSM. However, AN sub b/p is not a synonym for someone who suffers from bulimia that happens to be underweight.
Personally, my bulimia causes weight fluctuations. My set point weight is 5lbs above being under-weight. Which means that if my weight drops for a bit, I'm underweight. This doesn't mean that I've become an anorexic. When I go from 108 to 107.8 pounds I don't become anorexic overnight. I still have the same mental illness. I still suffer the same way.

I think that the removal of atypical anorexia would really solve this problem. All weight criteria needs to be removed. Patients should be diagnosed based on their mental state, not their weight.
If anorexia stopped being associated with low weight, those who suffer from anorexia and happen to not be underweight could still get accurately diagnosed and treated, and those who suffer from bulimia (or BED, or OSFED) and who happen to be underweight could also get accurately diagnosed and treated.

We need changes to be made, and they need to made quickly, before more patients are inaccurately treated. People are dying. The least we could do is try and accurately treat everyone.



  1. I agree that eating disorders have little to do with weight. It’s the underlying mental illness associated with disordered eating that needs to be addressed. I also believe the DSM is a tool for mental health professionals to identify symptoms and prescribe or treat accordingly. There may be research that supports successes in treating atypical anorexia nervosa differently than other forms of disordered eating.

    1. There might be research indicating that treating atypical anorexia differently is helpful, but as far as the treatment near where I live, they treat all eating disorders (including BED and bulimia) in the same manner. That's why I've been going the private route and finding a therapist that treats me individually as supposed to a general eating disorder patient