Exploring positive and negative aspects of eating disorders
Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to treat, and anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all the psychiatric illness (Gremillion, 2003). Therefore this client group can present challenges to clinicians working with them. Those working in the area of eating disorders require research with clear clinical implications, to improve treatment and outcomes. The thesis will attempt to provide such research, with clearly stated clinical implications for treatment. The first paper in this thesis reviews the literature on the link between shame and eating disorders. This paper defines shame, then explores studies identifying the differences or similarities between shame and other self-conscious emotions, such as guilt, embarrassment and humiliation. The paper then explores the link between shame and eating disorders. The second and main paper is an empirical paper exploring shame and pride in a clinical population with a diagnosed eating disorder. The third paper explores 'pro-anorexia' websites to access whether such sites offer any advice or support that could be considered positive. The final paper is a reflective paper which explores my research journey.