University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Documents

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)1461-1473
JournalQualitative Health Research
Journal publication date1 Aug 2019
Volume29
Issue10
Early online date27 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Abstract

Websites advocating the benefits of eating disorders (“Pro-Ana”) tend to reinforce and maintain restrictive eating and purging behaviors. Yet remarkably, no study has explored individual accounts of disengagement from these sites and the associated meanings. Using narrative inquiry, this study sought to address this gap. From the interviews of six women, two overarching storylines emerged. The first closely tied disengagement to recovery with varying positions of personal agency claimed: this ranged from enforced and unwelcomed breaks that ignited change, to a personal choice that became viable through the development of alternative social and personal identities. A strong counternarrative to “disengagement as recovery” also emerged. Here, disengagement from Pro-Ana was storied alongside a need to retain an ED lifestyle. With “recovery” being just one reason for withdrawal from Pro-Ana sites, clinicians must remain curious about the meanings individuals ascribe to this act, without assuming it represents a step toward recovery.

ID: 16086874