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A Narrative Study of the Lives of Women Who Experience Anorexia Nervosa

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There is a dearth of literature that explores the subjective experiences of women beyond the age of 20 diagnosed with anorexia. This collaborative research inquiry portrays the life experiences of four such women. A narrative research design was employed to capture the subjective experiences of the women and to allow some comparisons between them to both illuminate the individual features and to offer some common themes. Semi-structured interviews were employed to gather life-story data from four women diagnosed with anorexia. The results of the analysis of four life stories are presented individually and then discussed in relation to a conceptualisation of an overall understanding of their lives. The narratives indicate that various aspects of the women's stories remain unresolved, especially important family relational conflicts, and that the women differ in the extent to which these are seen as connected to their current difficulties. Some implications that these unresolved aspects of their narratives may provide helpful focal points for therapeutic interventions are discussed.
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Keywords: anorexia; eating disorders; life story; narrative; qualitative

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK 2: Clinical Teaching Unit, Faculty of Health and Social Work, Peninsula Allied Health Centre,University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, UK 3: Private Sector, Cornwall, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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