EDNOS stands for “eating disorder not otherwise specified,” and according to the American Psychiatric Association accounts for 90% of eating disorder diagnoses outside of treatment centers and 40-60% of diagnoses within treatment centers.  Many of the EDNOS symptoms are the same as other eating disorders, such as Bulimia or Anorexia, but don’t fully meet the criteria of those disorders.  Someone who severely restricts or counts calories but is still in the normal weight range would be diagnosed with EDNOS.  Another example would be someone who meets the criteria for Anorexia but is still having their period.  People who have EDNOS might be using binge/purge behaviors at a different frequency than the diagnosis for bulimia requires or they might be chewing and spitting out large amounts of food but not swallowing.  Often people believe that these are “relatively harmless” sorts of disorders or “diets gone bad”, but these are life-threatening, serious illnesses– despite the fact its sufferers often look healthy.

After receiving an EDNOS diagnosis, many people state that they feel a little disappointed, as if their condition wasn’t as serious as the more well known eating disorder diagnosis.  Many times when you hear about an eating disorder you think only about Bulimia or Anorexia – Many people don’t consider EDNOS to be a “real” eating disorder.

Many people don’t consider EDNOS to be a “real” eating disorder.

They think that due to the fact that they don’t meet the criteria and have a typical diagnosis that they are not really sick – not seriously, anyway.  Often, this causes a sufferer of EDNOS to not seek treatment quickly and consequently, can suffer long periods of time in silence.

But people with EDNOS are in trouble and they need eating disorder treatment!  The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that individuals with EDNOS are at risk for many of the medical complications of Anorexia or Bulimia, depending on the symptoms they have. Those who binge and purge run risks similar to Bulimia in that they can severely damage their bodies. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration can occur and may cause cardiac complications and, occasionally, sudden death. In rare instances, binge eating can cause the stomach to rupture, and purging can result in heart failure due to the loss of vital minerals like potassium. Persons with EDNOS who are restricting may have low blood pressure, slower heart rate, disruption of hormones, bone growth, and significant mental, and emotional disturbance.  The mental and emotional struggle is about things such as feelings, self-esteem, fears and control.

Perhaps you or someone you know is feeling caught up in eating disorder behaviors, but is thinking that it’s not yet “enough” to get help for.  Please recognize that it is a very dangerous risk to take to think that you know where that line is.  No one deserves to suffer or die from an eating disorder! Call Canopy Cove today and speak to a qualified eating disorder specialist who can assist you in determining what kind of help you need.  YOU are worth it!

Call us today at 1-800-236-7524!

Canopy Cove’s Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.