The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition; (DSM–5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) diagnostic criterion for Anorexia Nervosa are as follows:

  • Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, development trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal or, for children and adolescents, less than that minimally expected.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even through at a significantly low weight.
  • Disturbances in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

What is an Anorexia Subtype?

Anorexics can exhibit subtype behaviors that detail how they are engaging in the disorder.  Individuals can exhibit one or both behaviors during their diagnosis.

  • Restricting type
    • During the last 3 months, the individual has not engaged in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging behavior (i.e. self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).  This subtype describes presentations in which weight loss is accomplished primarily through dieting, fasting, and/or excessive exercise.
  • Binge-eating/purging type
    • During the last 3 months, the individual has engaged in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging behavior (i.e. self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).