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All Giardino could think about was that she still wasn’t thin enough.
If a medical professional couldn’t tell that she had an eating disorder, then surely she must have not been trying hard enough to shed pounds. Now a 22-year-old graduate student of social work at SUNY Albany, Giardino is one of an estimated thirty million Americans who have struggled with an eating disorder.
Before the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published in 2013, sixty percent of eating disorder patients were diagnosed with “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” (EDNOS), a label for those who had only some anorexic or bulimic traits.
For example, someone who had symptoms of anorexia but continued to menstruate would be diagnosed with EDNOS.
“I wish we didn’t have to diagnose people altogether,” Schaefer says.
“A diagnosis cannot measure someone’s pain and suffering.” Schaefer knows this first-hand.
This phenomenon, which Schaefer and Thomas coin “almost anorexia,” is just as legitimate as a full-blown eating disorder in their eyes.
When Schaefer was first diagnosed with an eating disorder after graduating from college, she fell under what was then the EDNOS category.
Thomas, The book asserts that while one in two hundred adults will be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in their lifetimes, a whopping one in twenty adults will experience key symptoms for a clinical eating disorder but will not receive any treatment for it.She adds that those who are diagnosed with an acronym, whether EDNOS or OSFED, typically feel invalidated.That’s why in her discussion groups, specific labels are rarely used in order to describe someone.Those who were previously labeled as EDNOS could now justifiably migrate into being diagnosed as straight-up bulimic or anorexic.Currently, about thirty percent of Americans with eating disorders fall under the OSFED label.