New Eating Disorders Might Make it into the DSM-V

Many are campaigning to add new eating disorders into the DSM-V which would mean more research funding and treatment for many.

One of my biggest frustrations is when I say ‘eating disorder,’ 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.

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.