Eating disorder patients fall through DSM-5 cracks

Adolescents with atypical symptoms of eating disorders are in danger of being misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated, says an Australian psychologist who has conducted a study among 700 adolescent girls.

Flinders University Professor Tracey Wade says there are many adolescents who don’t exhibit symptoms of bingeing or purging but have a significant degree of stress about their eating.

Five per cent of the girls in her study did not meet the DSM-5 criteria for an eating disorder but reported abnormal levels of fasting or obsessional exercise.