Eating disorders diagnoses

June 9, 2009

The way that I understand the current classification of eating disorders is that the disorders are divided by their most common eating disorder behaviour into anorexia, bulimia and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Furthermore, this is the assumed most common eating disorder behaviour and individuals vary in what behaviours they use. The main recognised eating disorder behaviours are:

  • restriction: reducing food intake which can range in severity from small decreases to fasting
  • binging: eating in a discrete period of time (e.g. two hours) an amount of food that is definitely larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances (this is straight out of the DSM-IV)
  • purging: self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, excessive/compulsive exercise, restriction or starvation (and possibly other behaviours) that is aimed at ‘compensating’  or cancelling out calorie intake

It’s very important to realise that there are several other common eating disorder behaviours such as compulsive exercise (not only used as method of purging), orthorexia, chewing and spitting and pica but these aren’t specified in the current diagnostic criteria. Also, binge eating disorder isn’t yet officially included in DSM-IV or ICD-10 and is still technically a research tool. However, it does look likely that it will be included as a separate disorder in its own right rather than being bundled in with EDNOS which is the current situation.

The DSM-IV (published by the American Psychiatric Association) and the ICD-10 (published by the World Health Organisation) are not the only way that eating disorders could have been classified. By definition, diagnoses must include only the core and specific aspects of the disorder but there are many behaviours that are excluded. This is a problem for the people experiencing this behaviours as it may not be recognised that they have a genuine disorder and that treatment is available. The same issue is also a problem for the healthcare workers trying to diagnose them.

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Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?

June 7, 2009

Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy on Shapely Prose is fat acceptance in one genius, cutting post. Kate Harding’s ten principles answer not only the trolls on her blog and the intrusive questioning and prejudice (i.e. trolls) that fat people have to deal with in real life but also the little voice in so many fat people’s heads that is internalised fat hatred.

7. Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Fat people are human beings.

8. Even fat people who are unhealthy still deserve dignity and respect. Still human beings. See how that works?

Those two points have dragged me out of some pretty nasty beliefs about myself that were masquerading as rational and unassailable facts. This post’s clarity and thorough reasoning is something solid to hold onto.


Bank alt? A bit of an explanation.

June 6, 2009

A bank alt is a World of Warcraft (WoW) term for a character that, to put it simply, does the organising required for the other characters to function. WoW itself is huge online computer game (technically a massively multiplayer online role-playing game) with 11.5 million subscribers. There are many realms, which are also called servers, that provide a parallel universe for a few thousand players and on each realm you may have up to ten characters. Characters have a lot of  items and need to store some items, buy and sell others and organise the whole lot. That’s what the bank alt does. Alt, in this case, means alternative character; player means the human at the computer; and character is the human’s representation within the virtual WoW universe.

My analogy seems to be pretty clumsy to explain but it makes sense to me. I have a lot of things going on in my life and I would like to keep tract of these things better. That’s what my bank alt in WoW does and that’s what this blog will hopefully do for me in real life.