What are Other Specified Eating Disorder diagnoses?

Other specified eating disorder diagnoses are used when an individual’s behavior does not meet the criteria for any specific eating disorder. Examples include:

  • Atypical anorexia nervosa -- All of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met, except that despite significant weight loss, the individual’s weight is within or above the normal range.
  • Bulimia nervosa of low frequency and/or limited duration -- All of the criteria for bulimia nervosa are met, except that the binge eating and compensatory behaviors occur, on average, less than once a week and/or for less than 3 months.
  • Binge eating disorder of low frequency and/or limited duration -- All of the criteria for binge eating disorder are met, except that the binge eating occurs, on average, less than once a week and/or for less than 3 months.
  • Purging disorder -- Recurrent purging behavior to influence weight or shape (e.g., self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications) in the absence of binge eating.
  • Night eating syndrome – Recurrent episodes of night eating, as manifested by eating after awakening from sleep or by excessive food consumption after the evening meal. There is awareness and recall of the eating. The night eating is not better explained by external influences such as changes in the individual’s sleep-wake cycle or by local social norms. The night eating causes significant distress and/or impairment in functioning. The pattern of eating is not better explained by binge-eating disorder or another mental disorder, including substance use, and is not attributable to another medical disorder or to an effect of medication.

What is an Unspecified Eating Disorder?

A diagnosis of “unspecified eating disorder” is given when an individual has eating disorder symptoms that cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning but the behavior does not meet the full criteria for any specific eating disorder. This diagnostic category is used in situations when there is insufficient information to make a more specific diagnosis (e.g., in emergency room settings).

Mental Health Library Sources:
Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.
Disclaimer:
Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.
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