This week is eating disorder awareness week and a condition that is often forgotten about within this spectrum is EDNOS. Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is a catch-all term that describes someone with disordered eating who does not match all of the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. An example of this would be a woman suffering from anorexic behaviours, but continues to have her period.
EDNOS can be incredibly difficult to diagnose and even though it is a serious mental illness, sufferers are often sent away by their GPs and told to return when they fit the criteria entirely. This inevitably results in sufferers slipping further into the grips of their eating disorder.
It has been revealed that those with EDNOS are waiting for up to two years for treatment, with many of them being refused care because they aren’t perceived to be ‘ill’ enough.
A new campaign launched by Cosmopolitan magazine hopes to raise awareness of this issue by urging everyone to write to their doctors asking them to review the way eating disorders are assessed.
In order to be diagnosed with anorexia the sufferer must have a body weight that is at least 15% below the expected BMI caused by self-inflicted measures such as avoiding food and excessive exercise. Body image distortion must also be demonstrated along with an absence of periods (amenorrhoea).
To be diagnosed with bulimia sufferers must display cravings for food alongside evidence of bingeing and purging. Their weight must also be below the normal limits for someone their height.
If someone doesn’t match all of the criteria for either of these conditions, they may miss out on much needed support and treatment.
Whether you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, EDNOS or you’re worried about the way you think about food – it is always worth seeking help. Talk therapies like counselling are often recommended and some sufferers find hypnotherapy to be a useful complementary treatment.
To find out more about hypnotherapy for disordered eating, please see our eating disorders page.
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