Appetite Change

23 08 2011

This post is going to start with a warning.

I have experience of Bipolar and of personality disorders, yet I’m going into uncharted with what follows. I’m entering the world of eating disorders. As such I’m not going to say I’m the best person to talk on it, clearly I’m not, but I think I’ve spotted something.

Eating disorders are something which affect so many people and can include overeating as well as undereating. The end results can be fatal but are generally devastating regardless.

However, I think that eating disorders have been misclassified.

You see, treatment is fairly specialised and tends to only come into effect when the person achieves a very low BMI. Now, BMI (Body Mass Index) is a completely flawed method of assessing somebody for healthy weight. It doesn’t take into account muscle mass etc which means you could be incredibly fit yet labelled obese, or in real trouble and yet still healthy.

I’m going out on a limb here and going to say that eating disorders, in the main, are psychological disorders. As such they are treated with therapy etc.

Where am I going with this? I’m going to say that eating disorders should be reclassified as part of the personality disorder group.


Because then acceptance for treatment wouldn’t be based on your BMI, it would be based on impact on the individuals life. In theory this would mean getting the same help but faster.

What do you think? Should it be included as a facet of personality disorders, or even as a disorder in its own right? Would it make any difference in getting treatment? Would people see it as something completely differently, for better or worse?I’m genuinely interested in seeing whether a different approach would help more people, or if it’s just a bit too far out there to be useful.

You tell me.




One response

23 08 2011

oh null, we love you but it’s dangerous to try venturing outside what you know

eating disorders are already treated as psych issues. eating is one subset of issues of control, and very much just a type of self harm. Trying to bodge it in under personality disorders might be fair, but there are already lots of people (whitecoats, researchers & patients) within Obsessive Compulsive (which is a PD, and which ed, as a control thing, would fall) who are trying to separate themselves out as separate disorders. so joining a party that’s already overfull…?

Plus, the time to treat eating disorders is before they take hold (as you’ve said). PDs shouldn’t be officially diagnosed in children/adolescents (it does happen for really extreme situations), as lots of the normal behaviours of young people fall into the diagnostic criteria. Sooo, throwing eds into pds would be to exclude from treatment a wider range of ‘ill but not yet so completely bonkers’ kids from treatment when they need it.

but then, i’ve got a general beef against axis 4 diagnoses anyway….

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