DSM-5 Changes in the Diagnosis Eating Disorders

As of May 2013, several changes will be made to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in regards to the diagnosis of eating disorders.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) will now be listed as a separate diagnosis. Previously, individuals with BEDs were diagnosed as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). BED is associated with major medical complications such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity. By listing BED as a diagnosis that is separate from EDNOS, individuals will now receive a proper diagnosis and more effective treatment.

Individuals will no longer need to present with amenorrhea in order to receive a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa. There are also changes being made to the weight requirements. Previously, an individual had to present at 85% of their ideal body weight. In the upcoming edition of the DSM, the individual will present with a significantly low body weight due to restriction of energy (food) intake.

In the current edition of the DSM, the main criteria for diagnosis of Bulimia Nervosa is based on the number of binge/purge episodes that occur per week. Currently, to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, the individual must binge/purge more than two times every week for a period of three months; otherwise they are diagnosed with EDNOS. In the 2013 version of the DSM, the number of weekly binge/purge episodes has been reduced. The individual must binge/purge at least once per week for a three month period in order to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa.

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