Recommendation of Obesity as Not an Official Psychiatric Disorder a Disservice to All

Top Quote A recent article states that a group of medical experts recommends binge eating be included as an official psychiatric disorder, but obesity should not, as they work to revise their field's diagnostic manual, known as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). End Quote
  • Chicago, IL (1888PressRelease) November 03, 2010 - The reports states that, "after reviewing research, the work group cited scientific evidence that binge eating tended to run in families, had a distinct demographic profile with a greater likelihood of male cases, older age, a later onset of the disorder and personality disturbances." But Kimberly Dennis, M.D., Medical Director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, believes this type of categorization does the sufferers, and the eating disorder field, a disservice.

    "The types of obesity that are purely genetic are very rare, and there are plenty of obese people who would qualify as compulsive overeaters who may or may not fit the DSM criteria for binge eating disorder," said Dr. Dennis. "I think the distinction the article makes between obesity and binge eating disorder is similar to society's distinction between 'social drinker' and 'alcoholic,' which has everything to do with denial at the level of society and professionals and very little to do with helping people live in ways that are supportive of life and abundance rather than toxic to it."

    Many times diagnostic criteria such as this restricts access to treatment for those who need it most. "We get to service so many of the women who would fall under the radar at traditional treatment programs because we have a sophisticated diagnostic lens. We are able to help many women and girls obtain recovery from unhealthy relationships with food, body, exercise who may not ever be diagnosed with a formal eating disorder in many other settings," said Dr. Dennis.

    Most people have difficulty seeing the impact of an unhealthy relationship with food, eating, exercise, or their body fully on their own. If not identified or treated during the early stages, eating disorders can become chronic, debilitating and even life-threatening. Professional help can lead to a greater sense of peace and manageability. Just remember, it's not about what you eat, but rather, what is eating you.

    About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
    Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for eating disorders and substance abuse, with or without trauma, a dual diagnosis or cooccurring disorder. Expert treatment staff offers a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls (ages 12 and older) on a wooded 43-acre campus in suburban Chicago. Women and families seeking Christian treatment have the option of working with a dedicated Christian therapist. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611.

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