Emotional Overeating Awareness Month on April, 2024: Anorexia nervosa or EDNOS?
April, 2024 is Emotional Overeating Awareness Month 2024. Emotional Overeating Awareness Emotional Overeating Awareness
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Having an "Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified" can mean a number of things... It can mean the individual suffers from Anorexia but still gets their period; It can mean they may still be an "average healthy weight" but be suffering Anorexia; It can mean the sufferer equally participates in some Anorexic as well as Bulimic behaviors (sometimes referred to as being Bulimirexic).
Just as it is important to remember that doctors can make mistakes, it is also important to keep in mind that it has not been until very recently (in the last 10 years) that awareness on the subject Eating Disorders has really begun to surface. People are frequently confused (including doctors) about the real differences between Anorexia and Bulimia (Anorexia essentially being self-starvation, and Bulimia being defined as going through binge and purge cycles - simply put), and often times know nothing at all about Binge-Eating Disorder.
For example, a doctor relies completely on his diagnostic manuals and reads the criteria to diagnose an individual as having Anorexia. He finds that his patient has regularly practiced self-starvation techniques, thinks of herself unrealistically as overweight, and seems to be hard on herself... BUT she still has her monthly period (the diagnostic criteria states that there must be loss of monthly menstrual cycles). He may technically diagnose the patient as having "An Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified".
Another example would be that of a person suffering through binge and purge cycles once a week, who feels that they are overweight and who feels depressed. (The diagnostic criteria states that the sufferer must binge and purge, on average, at least twice a week.)
Practically speaking, in the first example the person suffers from Anorexia and the second suffers from Bulimia. Clinically speaking, according to the "text book" they would suffer from "An Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified". In either case, both people are suffering with an Eating Disorder, both are in danger of potentially deadly physical complications, and both need to make a choice for recovery.
The most important thing to remember is that Eating Disorders, Anorexia, Bulimia, Compulsive Overeating, Binge-Eating Disorder, any combination of them, (or any that fall into the clinical category of EDNOS), are ALL psychological illnesses, none less or more serious than the next. They all have their physical dangers and complications, they all present themselves through an array of disordered eating patterns in one way or another, and they all stem from emotional turmoil such as a low self-esteem, a need to forget feelings and/or stress, a need to block pain, anger and/or people out, and most of all, a need to cope. The bottom line is that we are ALL suffering. If you find you suffer from any Eating Disorder then it's time to reach in to yourself.