Anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, provides specific criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. According to the DSM-5, there are two main subtypes of anorexia nervosa:
- Restricting Type: Individuals with this subtype primarily restrict their food intake and do not regularly engage in binge-eating or purging behaviors (such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives).
- Binge-Eating/Purging Type: Individuals with this subtype engage in recurrent episodes of binge-eating (consuming an abnormally large amount of food within a discrete period) or purging behaviors (such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, or excessive exercise) in addition to restrictive eating patterns.
It’s important to note that these subtypes are not mutually exclusive, and individuals may transition between them over time. Furthermore, the DSM-5 also recognizes a category called “Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder” (OSFED), which includes individuals who display symptoms consistent with anorexia nervosa but do not meet the full diagnostic criteria.
It’s worth mentioning that seeking professional help from mental health and medical practitioners is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of anorexia nervosa.