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New Eating Disorders Might Make it into The DSM-V

 Art by: Willy Biaggi
Art by: Willy Biaggi

One of my biggest frustrations is when I say ‘eating
,’ most people think anorexia or bulimia. But there are lots of
different types of disordered eating—binge eating, compulsive night eating,
obsessively health-conscious eating, diabulimia, pregorexia—and psychiatrists may
officially recognize several ‘new’ eating disorders in the upcoming Diagnostic
and Statistic manual (DSM.) The DSM guides the way psychiatrists diagnose and
treat mental health patients, how insurance companies cover treatment, what
researchers get grants for studying and the drugs pharmaceutical companies
develop. We keep a couple of copies in the Victorian office for staff to

Dr. Janet Taylor, a clinical psychiatry instructor at
Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital, says, “Changes to the DSM are extremely
critical that clinicians and patients have the ‘right’ diagnosis. Making a
diagnosis is multi-faceted and involves an involved clinical history, knowledge
of social conditions and evidence based criteria, standards and definitions
that can be used worldwide.”

My own excitement in the DSM is due to the effects it will
have on insurance coverage. Today, many go untreated suffering from their eating
disorders because insurance company’s don’t recognize it as a deadly illness
(which they are. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental
illnesses.) The changes in the DSM will not only make way for more people to
get coverage, but more research can be done for eating disorders. Helping the
treatment and prevention side of this awful disease.