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DSM-IV diagnostic criteria

A list of symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV published by APA. The criteria describe the features of the mental diseases and disorders listed in the manual. For a particular mental disorder to be diagnosed in an individual, the individual must exhibit the symptoms listed in the criteria for that disorder. Many health plans require that a DSM-IV diagnosis be made by a qualified clinician before approving benefits for a patient seeking treatment for a mental disorder such as anorexia or bulimia.

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Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten. This behavior can take two forms: self-induced vomiting, misuse of enemas, laxatives, diet pills (called purging) and excessive exercise, fasting, or diabetic omission of insulin (called non-purging). Some people with bulimia nervosa may also starve themselves for periods of time before binge eating again. Bulimia nervosa has important mental, emotional, and physical aspects that require consideration during treatment.

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