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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.As her eating disorder progressed, she eventually lost enough weight to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.She entered inpatient treatment, and as she started to approach a “normal” weight was shuffled back into the EDNOS category for the rest of her treatment, even though she was far from cured.She recounted her own experience recovering from an eating disorder in the bestselling self-help book she co-authored with psychologist Jennifer J.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.ighteen-year-old Alexa Giardino sat with her legs dangling from an examination table.She swung them gingerly, nervously waiting for her lifelong physician to walk through the heavy wooden door.
“I had tried telling her about how I was making myself purge, but she completely brushed it off, and it was such an invalidating experience.” Giardino’s case is one specific example of the problematic ways in which mental health professionals traditionally identified eating disorders.“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.
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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.