Getting an Eating Disorder Diagnosis
Getting a clear confirmation of an eating disorder can make all the difference
As mentioned in What is an eating disorder, seeking expert diagnosis is highly recommended.
Behaviours such as dieting, weight fluctuation, and expressing anxiety may be considered part of becoming an adolescent, an individual’s personality, going through menopause, or dieting to be ‘healthy’.
However if you are concerned it is not normal behaviour seek a professional opinion.
Early intervention gives more options and offers faster recovery. Once you have a diagnosis, a professional support team and a treatment plan can be formed.
The first step to seeking diagnosis is to discuss your concerns with the person you think may have an eating disorder.
It is not uncommon for the person to deny they have a problem. Shame, denial and secrecy are common characteristics of eating disorders. By reading How to Start a Conversation you now have the key ‘tools’ to discuss the possibility of seeking a professional diagnosis.
Once the person is open to seeking a diagnosis, it can be helpful to offer some suggestions of who might be worth making an appointment with.
Although eating disorders is estimated to affect approximately 9% of the Australian population (NEDC, 2013 ), eating disorders are not included as a significant part of training for most health professionals. This includes General Practitioners (GPs).
It may be worth considering contacting an eating disorder organisation for a list of experienced GPs. Below is a list of reliable organisations that can help you find your local GP.
Your first step to diagnosis is usually going to a GP.
The person you suspect may have an eating disorder may want to go alone to the appointment. This is their right. However, it is ideal if you could be there with them to continue to give support and be another pair of ears.
Some GPs are confident to diagnose an eating disorder but many times they will refer you onto a specialist service (EDOS) or a psychiatrist or psychologist.
An overview of the process
This flow path gives the many options people have followed to get to treatment for an eating disorder.
At times carer feel like they are getting the run around or not taken seriously, and unfortunately at times this can be true.
Take a step back review these pathways and to find different options.
Check out our other downloadable PDF’s
If you need help, reach out.
If you need assistance, or are interested in any eating disorder services, get in touch.
We can help with more information, referrals and/or arrange an assessment appointment.
You can also contact us through Eating Disorders Queensland
Eating Disorders Queensland 89 Sherwood Road, Toowong Qld 4066