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"Binge Eating Disorder" Added to DSM

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It's been a long time coming, but "binge eating disorder" is now officially in the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis manual.

After 20 years, a few key changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), have been made to reflect the seriousness of eating disorders, as well as changes that will help medical professionals identify more specific criteria for diagnosis.

"Binge eating disorder" is now an official main category. Additionally, since children and adolescents are being diagnosed with eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) about 50 percent of the time, changes were made to further specify criteria for different types of eating disorders.

Dr. Thomas Milam, the head of psychology for Carilon, says that the addition of the binge eating disorder category was included in order to raise more awareness about a growing problem:

"Many people do eat in large bursts in these binges and feel like they cannot control it. So what this does is begins to open up the diagnosis for further exploration because once something makes its way into the DSM four, then it's fair game to be studied more as well."

Other eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia have been in the manual for years.

Among the other changes made to the DSM, Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder is more well defined, the term Asperger's will now be dropped (and the disease will be incorporated under the Autism Spectrum Umbrella) and mental retardation will be replaced with the term "intellectual development disorder."

And for the first time, next year an electronic version of the DSM-5 will be available.

Source: Washingtonian