Research Repository

Being and doing anorexia nervosa: An autoethnography of diagnostic identity and performance of illness

O'Connell, Lauren (2021) 'Being and doing anorexia nervosa: An autoethnography of diagnostic identity and performance of illness.' Health. ISSN 1363-4593

[img]
Preview
Text
13634593211017190.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (156kB) | Preview

Abstract

This autoethnography examines my experience of the diagnosis and treatment of anorexia nervosa. Drawing on memory and personal and medical documents relating to inpatient admissions in an adult specialist eating disorder unit, I narrate and analyse my experience in terms of my relationship to the diagnosis of anorexia and the constructions of it I encountered. I show how I came to value an identity based on anorexia and how I learned ways of ‘doing’ the diagnosis in treatment. This involved me valuing medical markers of illness, including signs of poor health, which became crucial to how I performed my diagnosis and retained the diagnostically-informed sense of self that I valued. I suggest that, ultimately, these diagnostic-dynamics, alongside other effects of long-term inpatient treatment such as detachment from ‘normal life’, prolonged my struggles with self-starvation. The insights from this autoethnography shed light on potential iatrogenic impacts of diagnosis and treatment for anorexia.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anorexia nervosa, autoethnography, diagnostic identity, eating disorder treatment, iatrogenesis
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 May 2021 18:53
Last Modified: 27 May 2021 18:53
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30511

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item