About the DSM-5

What is it?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association, a society of psychiatric physicians. The current version of the DSM was released in May 2013, and reflects the changes to understanding of mental disorders and treatment paths.

Who uses it?

GP’s, psychiatrists and other psychological professionals use the criteria from the DSM to gauge an individual’s ‘fit’ to one diagnosis or another. This information is then used to assist the treatment providers in selecting the treatments with the best evidence for good outcomes, for any particular issue.

How does this affect people diagnosed with eating disorders?

The DSM-5 includes changes from the previous DSM, which aim to better represent the behaviours and symptoms of people affected by eating disorders.

A significant change is that of Binge Eating Disorder (BED). It is now acknowledged as a separate diagnosis, and will serve to differentiate between Binge Eating Disorder and the more common issue of emotional overeating.

The category known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), has been removed and replaced with two new categories;

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) and;
Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder (UFED).

These new categories are calculated to more suitably recognise and categorise conditions that do not match or fit a diagnosis for Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, BED, or the other eating and feeding disorders.