Trapped in a toxic relationship: Comparing the views of women living with anorexia nervosa to those experiencing domestic violence

Stephanie Tierney, John R E Fox

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    People living with anorexia nervosa (AN) often report experiencing an inner voice that dominates their thinking and behaviour, and prevents them from progressing towards recovery. Little systematic investigation has been made of this entity. A qualitative study was conducted to explore people's experiences of living with an 'anorexic' voice. Data were collected in the form of written reflections produced by those with the condition. A thematic analysis, involving the two authors, was employed, and the computer programme Atlas-ti helped with data management. Poems, letters, and reflective narratives were provided by 21 females with AN. A key theme from these data was the toxic relationship participants described with their inner voice. This idea was explored by considering and comparing their writings with research investigating the perspectives of women enduring domestic violence; parallels between the two groups became clear during analysis. A novel way of considering AN outlined in the paper, as someone entrapped in a toxic relationship, has implications for practice and for further research. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-41
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Gender Studies
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

    Keywords

    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Anorexic voice
    • Comparison
    • Domestic violence
    • Qualitative research
    • Women's views

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