Petition for Change in Diagnostic Criteria For Eating Disorders

An online petition requesting a change in the current diagnostic criteria for eating disorders is looking for signatures.

Many with eating disorders find themselves not meeting the criteria as defined by the "American Psychological Association in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)." Due to this treatment is often delayed until the patient progresses in her/his disorder. In addition due to the current criteria many are finding themselves diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified) which is often viewed as a less severe diagnosis, limiting treatment options.

The criteria stated in the petition is as follows:
• Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g. weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected; or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected).
• Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
• Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
• In postmenarcheal females, amenorrhea, i.e., the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if her periods occur only following hormone, e.g. estrogen, administration).

The diagnosis of anorexia is additionally identified as either Restricting Type or Binge-Eating/Purging Type.
The petition seeks to have the weight and amenorrhea requirements deleted, and more focus put on the mental state of patients so that treatment can be sought earlier, increasing the patient's chance of recovery.

You can read the petition in full and/or sign the petition here.

*Special thanks to XAL_84 of LCF for posting the link in the forums.

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2BIG said...

thanks for helping to get the word out about this much needed change.