It was only fewer than 7 years ago that Binge Eating Disorder was officially deemed an eating disorder by way of the DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association. Since then, millions of women have wondered if they, themselves were living with this disorder. And, attempt to figure out if they are, indeed, struggling with this issue. Fortunately, there are criteria for this disorder which can help people determine if they are still at risk for a binge eating disorder diagnosis. And, further, help to determine if they should be getting help for this specific type of eating disorder.
What is the DSM-5?
Essentially, the DSM-5 is the tool mental health specialists utilize to provide eating disorder diagnoses to patients. The acronym stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition. It’s developed, published, and updated by The American Psychological Association.
Basically, it helps ensure that all mental health specialists have the same concept of the symptoms and characteristics which characterize mental health issues. This way, patients all over the nation can receive a mental health diagnosis that’s on par with universally accepted knowledge.
Using the DSM-5 to Get a Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosis
The DSM-5 offers criteria physicians use to help them deliver a proper diagnosis of mental health issues, including eating disorders. Since 2013, the DSM-5 has acknowledged Binge Eating Disorder as its own eating disorder. And, offers five specific criteria of this mental health issue including:
- Experiencing episodes of binge eating on a recurring basis.
- These binge eating episodes include at least three of the following characteristics:
- Eating faster than normal.
- Consuming enough food to feel uneasily full.
- Eating large quantities of food even if not hungry.
- Consuming food alone to appease feelings of embarrassment.
- Experiencing negative emotions as a result of eating behaviors such as guilt, stress, anxiety, shame, and remorse.
- Experiencing distress as a result of binge eating episodes.
- Not conducting offsetting behaviors like purging.
Other Tests to Help Create a Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosis
While the DSM-5 criteria are helpful in diagnosing various mental health issues, there are other methods of determining a proper diagnosis. Specifically, for a binge eating disorder diagnosis, these methods include:
Psychological Assessments: Typically, before giving a diagnosis, physicians will suggest that individuals receive a psychological assessment. This may include filling out a questionnaire, answering questions about eating behaviors and sharing thoughts with a therapist.
Physical Assessments: Oftentimes, physical, medical assessments can help physicians further determine if a patient is indeed struggling with binge eating disorder. During the physical assessment, you can expect examination including reporting height and weight, blood pressure, body temperature and examining the efficiency of your organs (heart, lungs, etc.).
Lab Tests: Specifically, you can expect a binge eating disorder diagnosis to include blood tests that are sent to the lab. These help to better determine how an individual is digesting things like proteins and electrolytes. Plus, it determines whether or not specific organs are functioning correctly, like your kidneys.
Getting Help After a Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosis
Do you have a binge eating diagnosis? Or, do you think you or a loved one is struggling with this disorder and are working on getting a diagnosis in the future?
Here at The Willow Place for Women, we help women struggling with eating disorders, including binge eating disorder, learn how to live healthy lifestyles. Our outpatient eating disorder treatment program allows women to get the help they need without upheaving their lives completely. To learn more about this program and how it can help you or a loved one living with binge eating disorder, contact us today. Or, give us a call for a confidential conversation at 1-888-651-4212.