Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OFSED)

Eating disorders are very complex and can differ in the typical signs and symptoms.  Although most have not heard of it, OFSED is in fact the most commonly diagnosed eating disorder and was previously known as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

Diagnosis of OFSED usually consists of the following general categories of symptoms:

  • The criteria for Anorexia Nervosa is met except in the fact that the person has normal menstrual cycles
  • The criteria for Anorexia Nervosa is met except in the fact that the persons weight falls inside of the normal range
  • The criteria for Bulimia is met except in the fact that the binge eating or purging behaviours occur less than twice per week or for less than three months
  • The criteria for Bulimia is met except that a normal body weight is retained
  • Where all criteria are met for Binge Eating Disorder
  • Where an person repeatedly chews and spits out food without swallowing large amounts of food
  • Where a person partakes in excessive night time food consumption

Some people may be under the assumption that OFSED is a less serious illness than Anorexia or Bulimia, this is incorrect as studies have shown that the consequences of OFSED can be just as if not more severe than Anorexia or Bulimia.

Those people suffering with Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OFSED) require the same level of treatment and support as those with Anorexia or Bulimia.  Without help and treatment a substantial number of people with OFSED will, at some time during their illness, go on to meet the full criteria for Anorexia or Bulimia.

In all of these conditions there are serious emotional and psychological suffering and/or serious problems in areas of work, relationships or school.

Any concern regarding eating patterns, exercise habits, body image, thoughts and emotions surrounding food that do not appear right, should receive attention.

 

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Eating Disorders

An eating disorder can develop when normal eating habits become affected by stress, pressure or feelings of low self-esteem and feelings of not being good enough. During times of stress you may develop a craving for a particular food such as chocolate, loss your appetite, eat more for comfort or become unable to eat at all. Although this can occur for most people at times, usual eating habits return once the difficulties have passed.

However when you continue to eat too much or too little, you may be in danger of developing an eating disorder. Food can become increasingly important in your life until in some cases it becomes the most important thing. You may deny yourself food, even when hungry, or you may binge eat, you may be obsessive about your weight and about how you look. Food becomes a type of addiction affecting your life in a very negative way. Eating problems are not just about the food, the eating or starving, it is about being unable to process and deal with difficult problems and painful feelings, which may be difficult to express or face.

Often the beginning of an eating problem can be linked to a stressful occurrence or trauma such as mental, physical or sexual abuse, bullying at school, the death of a loved one or parental divorce. TV, magazines and other media images have also been dominating people’s lives, creating unreal images of what the ‘perfect’ body should look like, in turn creating the need in some to conform to an idea of perfection and change the way they look to ‘fit in’ with so called normal life.

 

Denial

Denial is one of the most common areas of all Eating Disorders, yet is unfortunately one of the hardest areas for intervention. Denial for people that suffer with any extreme disordered food behaviours, becomes a lie, that becomes their reality. The secret that generates this behaviour helps the individual to protect themselves not to appear as a liar. Possible examples are:

• Someone suffering from Anorexia Nervosa may say, convincingly, that they have already eaten or that they will eat later, or they may eat a meal in front of someone but use compensatory behaviours afterwards to ‘control’ their emotions and the disease (e.g. purging, exercising, starvation etc).
• Someone suffering from Binge Eating Disorder may convince themselves that they are not over-eating by emotionally and psychologically cutting off their reality once they have eaten (e.g. they state and believe they have only eaten two meals today, but forget that they spent most of the night in and out of the fridge).
• Someone suffering from Bulimia may convince themselves that it is normal behaviour to binge and purge as long as other people don’t find out.

Like any addiction or Eating Disorder the illness itself is a symptom that helps to preoccupy someone from the real way that they feel and their life experiences, allowing whatever relationship with food they have, reduce or take way the real fears, hurts, anxieties and pain. Ironically though, this preoccupation with the Eating Disorder behaviour, in the long term, causes a person a different and possibly higher level of internal and external pain.

 

Cortijo Care are here to help.

Treatment at Cortijo Care is set up to help anyone suffering from Anorexia Nervosa.

Our 24 Hour Acute programme is there to help those suffering from Eating Disorders; Our Rehabilitation programme then treats the psychological issues surrounding the eating disorder, enabling clients to learn how to cope with life, getting to the root of the whys and wherefores of the eating disorder and learning how to handle emotions and anxieties in a safe place.

Please call us for a no obligation chat on (+34) 952 780 181 about how we can help you or your family member or friend, or complete the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.