Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) has replaced Feeding Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood.
The DSM-Vis the manual used for diagnosing psychiatric problems. It stands for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The Fifth edition has been out since May 2013 and includes changes to how eating disorders are categorized and diagnosed.
This post will address one of those changes, which the new diagnosis is called Avoidant / Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (also known as ARFID).
“Dr Daniels, when you give talks on anorexia please let people know it really sucks to have this problem. I hate when I hear people say they wish they had anorexia. Do they wish to think of nothing but food 24/7? Do they wish for self hatred and disgust? Do they wish their brain would shrink, their organs would shut down, and they would feel cold all the time? Tell them anorexia is a monster that takes over the mind and body.”
—-a 29 year old woman in treatment for anorexia nervosa
(Who by the way is doing great in treatment! Anorexia is completely 100% treatable with the proper treatment.)
What is anorexia?
People who obsess about food and have otherwise healthy eating may be suffering from “orthorexia nervosa,” a term that literally translates to “fixation on righteous eating.” Orthorexia may begin as a well intentioned attempt to eat more healthfully, but the intention morphs into a preoccupation with food quality and purity. People with this condition become consumed with what and how much to eat, and how to deal with “slip-ups.” An iron-clad will is needed to maintain this rigid eating style. Every day is a chance to eat right, be “good,” rise above others in dietary prowess, and self-punish if temptation wins (usually through stricter eating, fasts and exercise). Self-esteem becomes wrapped up in the purity eating behavior, which then becomes part of feeling superior or virtuous compared to other people who eat a wider range and larger amount of food. Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating. Eventually, the obsession with healthy eating can crowd out other activities and interests, impair relationships, and become physically dangerous.
Welcome to my Blog
Here I get real on body image, eating, sex, yoga and more. Sometimes the topics are more random. All relate to psychology (after all, I am a psychologist!) --Dr.D