Overview

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) is a term used to describe an atypical presentation of an eating disorder that does not meet all of the diagnostic criteria for one of the
three DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) recognised eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. This does not mean that EDNOS’ are not serious, and even life threatening.

EDNOSs are actually the most common category of all eating disorders experienced. Find out more below.

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Factsheet

Provided by The Butterfly Foundation

We have partnered with The Butterfly Foundation to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. The Butterfly Foundation provides support for Australians for suffer from eating disorders and negative body issues and their carers.

EDNOS

Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/blindphotographer/Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) is a term used to describe an atypical presentation of an eating disorder that does not meet all of the diagnostic criteria for one of the three DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) recognised eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. This does not mean that EDNOS’ are not serious, and even life threatening.

EDNOSs are actually the most common category of all eating disorders experienced.

It is important to remember that the levels of distress and impairment for people experiencing an EDNOS are similar to other eating disorders.

Examples of Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified include:

  • For females, all of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met except that the individual has regular periods
  • All of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met except that, despite significant weight loss, the individual’s current weight is in a normal weight range.
  • All of the criteria for bulimia nervosa are met except that the binge eating and compensatory mechanisms occur at a frequency of less that twice a week or for a duration of less than 3 months
  • The regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviour (self induced vomiting, laxative use, over‐exercise) by an individual of normal body weight after eating small amount of food.
  • Repeatedly chewing and spitting out of food
  • Binge eating in the absence of regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviours.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of EDNOS are very similar to those of other eating disorders and include:

  • Frequent starvation, however the person may not be severely underweight
  • Dieting and disordered eating behaviours
  • Skipping meals Constantly making excuses not to attend social activities or meal times
  • Over exercising
  • Obsessive calorie counting
  • Hiding food
  • Using laxatives, diuretics or other methods of purging
  • Eating until uncomfortably full or sick Over interest in weight, shape and size
  • Chewing and spitting out of food
  • Low self esteem
  • Depression and/or anxiety

Where to go for help

The Butterfly Foundation offers telephone and email support for people experiencing an eating disorder and their family and friends. This confidential and supportive counselling service is available on
(02) 9412 4499 or
support@thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Treatment Options

Visit our information page on Treatment Options for Eating Disorders for more information including a factsheet and videos.

Tips for Recovery

Recovering from an eating disorder means different things to different people. Recovery is a process, like a journey, and it has many stages. For some people recovery can be the abstinence of behaviours and thoughts that have kept them unwell. For others, it has a focus on integrating back into regular life.

Recovering from an eating disorder takes some time and considerable effort. It is vital that you be patient and kind to yourself throughout your entire recovery process. You may find sometimes that you feel like you are not getting anywhere or moving quickly enough through your recovery. At times like this it is important to ‘hang in there’ and keep believing that full recovery is possible.

It is rare for anyone’s journey to recovery to happen in a linear way. There are often twists, turns and bumps along the way.

Listed below are some tips to help you in your recovery process:

Take Time Out

Try to do something nurturing and positive for yourself at least once a week. This is an important part of self care.

Reach Out for Support

You are not alone. Reach out to family, friends or community supports like Butterfly Foundation who can help you in times of need. Visit our treatment options information page for various options.

Reasons for Change

Remind yourself whenever possible of your reasons for change. You are deciding to move on from life without an eating disorder being present. This is a bold decision and deserves praise.

Values and Beliefs

Examine your values and beliefs and how your eating disorder may have detracted from you living your best life. This can be a powerful reminder as to why you are on a recovery path.

Triggers and Relapse

Relapse can occur in the process of recovering from an eating disorder and is actually quite common. It is important to not see this as a failure in any way. It is simply a part of the journey and a sign you may need extra professional support at that time.

Every person has different triggers and it’s important that you know yours. Often people with eating disorders find it difficult at times of change, high stress, and when feeling emotionally vulnerable.

Explore your triggers and put a plan into place if you feel that the eating disorder is coming back into your life. Reaching out for support to understand your triggers better can also help greatly.

Explore your Interests

Often when you are suffering from an eating disorder, your whole world becomes entrenched with thoughts about eating and associated behaviours. During recovery, take time to look at the enjoyed interests that you held before your eating disorder came into place, or that you might like to explore now. Did you enjoy playing the piano or would you like to learn a musical instrument? Are you a creative person that is missing an outlet for this side of yourself? By participating in these activities it will help you to refind your interests, find new ones and give you time out from your eating disorder.

Feelings

Do not hide your feelings and emotions away. Allow yourself to feel. This can be a daunting task to do but can help you fight your eating disorder by being real and genuine. Work to sit with difficult feelings in a safe environment and this will help them to move on quicker. If you find the process of allowing your true feelings to surface to be very difficult, seek support from your treatment provider or a trusted family member or friend.

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2 Responses to “Other Eating Disorders”

  1. kenneth says:

    i have had some type of eating disorder for qiet a while but only now realise it i would go days without eating & would live on coffee. looking back it has had a big impact on my social life. even now the thought of eating seems impossible. even though i know i have to eat to be healthy both mentally and phisically but i really cant eat & dont care about the outcome.

    • lynz says:

      Hi Kenneth

      Sorry to hear that you battling this hard disorder. Although we are not able to offer one on one counselling, we really recommend contacting a service that can, we would love to see a positive outcome for you, there are some great services out there. Accessing support from a service such as headspace (did you know you can chat to them in person at one of their centres, via the phone or event chat – check out http://www.eheadspace.org.au ) can really make a difference also the Butterfly Foundation is a great service to chat to they have a support line 1800 ED HOPE. Please keep on your help seeking journey, because you will again feel better than you do right now, and you will find a way through this tricky time.

      Please take great care, we hope things are on the up real soon.

      TINO Crew

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