What We Treat


What Is OSFED?

You may have some characteristics of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder yet find that you don’t meet all of the criteria used by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for those eating disorders.

If that is the case, you will likely be told that you have OSFED, which stands for other specified feeding or eating disorder. While OSFED may not be as well-known as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, it is nevertheless serious and requires treatment.

Many people with eating disorders do not meet the precise criteria established by the APA in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Before the DSM-5 – the fifth edition of the manual – was published in 2013, eating disorders that did not meet the manual’s criteria were classified as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

Symptoms of OSFED

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, the following are examples of symptoms that would result in a diagnosis of OSFED:

  • Atypical anorexia, in which all of the criteria for anorexia are met, but the individual’s weight is within or above the “normal” range.
  • Bulimia nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration) in which all of the criteria is met for bulimia nervosa, except that the patient uses inappropriate compensatory behaviors less frequently and for a shorter amount of time than the DSM criteria specify.
  • Binge eating disorder, with binging taking place less frequently than the DSM criteria specify (at least once a week for at least three months).
  • Purging disorder, in which a person purges without the presence of binge eating.
  • Night eating syndrome, which is excessive consumption of food after dinner or during the middle of the night.

Warning Signs of OSFED

Individuals suffering from OSFED may exhibit disturbed eating habits and an intense fear of weight gain. Physical signs may include weight loss, gain and/or fluctuation; dehydration; a compromised immune system due to nutrient deficiency; and, in females, amenorrhea, which is the absence of a menstrual period. Psychological signs often include a preoccupation with food and body shape. Some have a distorted body image. Dieting, eating food at unusual times or in a ritualistic manner and compulsive exercising are also some behavioral signs of OSFED.

Health Risks of OSFED

Some people believe that OSFED is less serious than better-known eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. However, OSFED poses significant risks to a person’s medical and mental health that are equally as serious, ranging from osteoporosis to heart conditions. It can also lead to death if left untreated.

Many people with OSFED have other co-occurring conditions, such as depression, severe anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Individuals with eating disorders like OSFED are also more likely than the general population to have issues with drug or alcohol abuse.

OSFED Treatment

Walden’s treatment ranges from inpatient care to outpatient programs. We offer a complete “continuum” of care, meaning treatment is always aligned with an individual’s current needs as they progress toward recovery.

Walden offers OSFED support for people of all ages and all genders.

Treatment services for OSFED at Walden include:

At Walden, we offer comprehensive treatment that addresses all facets of the disorder, while providing superior care leveraging evidence-based and individualized treatment modalities. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Intensive therapy helping one identify, interrupt and replace distorted thinking and associated compensatory behavior with positive thinking.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – Combines CBT techniques with mindful meditation to help discover new ways for individuals to manage emotions and develop a more positive self-image.
  • Family-Based Treatment (FBT) – Designed for adolescents, family-based treatment includes parents and family as part of the clinical team. We work together to help restore weight and a positive adolescent identity in their child through a coordinated three-phase approach.
  • Other
    • Individual and Group Counseling
    • Nutritional Counseling
    • Expressive Therapy
    • Relapse Prevention

OSFED Treatment Insurance

Walden is proud to be “in network” with most insurance providers and managed care companies. This means adolescents and adults with any form of an eating disorder can have the flexible and cost-efficient access to treatment that they need. Click here for a list of organizations with which Walden has contractual relationships.