Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
Only a doctor, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, can diagnose you with an eating disorder.
And to do that, your eating disorder must match with specific criteria.
But what happens if your eating disorder doesn’t fit?
You see, the thing about eating disorders and food issues is that they share a lot of symptoms.
The diagram below shows the overlap between certain eating disorders and eating issues.
Let’s take Bulimia for instance. You can see that it overlaps with Anorexia, Othrexia and Binge eating. To name a few.
That’s why the OSFED diagnosis was created…
To catch eating disorders that can’t be classified as a specific eating disorder.
When your eating disorder doesn’t match up perfectly with one of the others or you have symptoms of multiple, your doctor will diagnose you with OSFED.
It may surprise you to learn that OSFED is the most frequently diagnosed eating disorder. In fact, over 38% of Australians who seek help for eating disorders are diagnosed with it.
It’s interesting that despite being the most common “eating disorder,” OSFED is the least talked about. But the reality is that most eating disorders are not black and white in their diagnosis.
A diagnosis of OSFED is just as serious other eating disorders. Especially when you consider that you can suffer from the difficult part of each eating disorder – such as bulimia mixed with anorexia.
Like with all eating disorders, in order to be diagnosed with OSFED, your eating disorder stems from controlling your body shape and weight in an unhealthy way. Such as throwing up after each meal to get rid of calories.
Part of the reason OSFED isn’t commonly known is that the subcategory is more commonly diagnosed. These subcategories are grouped by eating disorder symptoms.
The subcategories include:
Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
Where you meet all the criteria for anorexia except being underweight.
Binge Eating Disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration)
Where you meet all the criteria for binge eating disorder but you binge less often or it has been happening for less than three months.
Bulimia Nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration)
Where you meet all the criteria for binge eating except you binge and purge less frequently or it has been happening for less than three months.
You eat a normal amount of food but use laxatives or force yourself to throw up. The goal is to remove calories from your body in order to lose weight.
Night Eating Syndrome
When someone wakes up and consumes a lot of food, or stuffs themselves before falling asleep – and there is no environmental, social or mental health issue responsible for it.
A fixation of only eating only the healthiest foods and right portions. So much so that it becomes obsessive and is negatively impacting your health. Orthorexia can easily turn into anorexia, bulimia or both