Blog › Forums › Eating Disorders › Should Amenorrhea be part of the DSM for Anorexia? › Reply To: Should Amenorrhea be part of the DSM for Anorexia?
Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks this is an unhelpful aspect of the diagnostic criteria! For some reason, lots of people don’t view eating disorders as serious unless you’re in hospital, about to die. But maybe if eating disorders were taken more seriously in the less life-threatening stages, less people would get to that point.
I also think that anorexia is competitive in nature (even if the competition is really with yourself), and that many people might see loss of menstrual cycle as something to aspire to, if they suffer with all the psychological aspects of the illness but haven’t yet had this physical development occur. In the mind of an anorexic, loss of menses could be seen as a sign that you’re doing something “right”, and that if you’re still menstruating, you must still be too fat.
I’m not really sure why the presence of ANY physical symptoms are necessary for the diagnosis of a mental illness. Each body will respond differently to the same set of circumstances, and the individual physical responses are not really an indicator of the psychological goings on!
Great point, @BauerPower. Apparently in prepubescent girls they look out for “delayed menses” as an indication of Anorexia? But does that mean they won’t diagnose until the patient is 17 and definitely should’ve started menstruating already? That’s misleading, because you can’t really gauge what’s “delayed” or not if you don’t know when menarche would’ve occurred otherwise.
@Rob – Absolutely! I think I’ve been in chronic conservation mode my whole life, yet I’ve never been overweight! But maybe my body is just weird and reacts atypically to everything…