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Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
When you don't fit neatly into an eating disorder diagnosis
by Harriet Frew on January 5th, 2020

When you don’t fit neatly into an eating disorder diagnosis

It is very common that you might not fit neatly into an eating disorder diagnostic category.
In this case, you might believe that your symptoms are not valid or that you aren’t ill enough to warrant help. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

In this case, you might be diagnosed with Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED).

In the past (1987 – 2013), if you were in this category, you might have been diagnosed with EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). You may well have heard of this? Before 2013, around 50% of people diagnosed with an eating disorder were diagnosed with EDNOS (Beat website).

If you have a diagnosis of OSFED, this is every bit as valid as the other eating disorders. In fact, most people will fall into this diagnostic category.

Your symptoms are serious. They signal a coping strategy for underlying distress and difficult thoughts and feelings.

You are absolutely worthy of treatment. Your symptoms count as much as anyone with a ‘neater’ diagnosis.

Some common OSFED presentations that we see in therapy: -
  • When someone has all the symptoms of anorexia nervosa, but their weight remains in the normal range.
  • When someone has all the symptoms of bulimia nervosa but their frequency of bingeing and purging is less than official criteria.
  • When someone has all the symptoms of binge eating disorder but the frequency of bingeing is less than official criteria.
  • When someone purges regularly without binge eating.
  • When someone massively over exercises but appears to eat ‘normally’.
  • Binge eating to the point of being uncomfortably full, but not full-blown binges.
  • The list could go on........
If you recognise yourself here, do reach out and get help.

You are worthy of treatment.

OSFED is an eating disorder. Don’t hesitate to reach out.


Posted in Therapy, osfed, eating disorder diagnosis    Tagged with osfed, ednos, Eating Disorder, eating disorder diagnosis, treatment for eating disorder


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.