Patients With Anorexia Nervosa Who Self-Injure: A Phenomenological Study

Suzanne Verschueren, Tamara Berends, Nienke Kool-Goudzwaard, Erwin van Huigenbosch, Claudia Gamel, Alexandra Dingemans, Annemarie van Elburg en Berno van Meijel
Soort object
PURPOSE: This study investigates self-injury fromthe perspective of patients with anorexia nervosa. DESIGN AND METHODS: A phenomenological design was used. Twelve patients participated. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview guide. FINDINGS: Participants display self-injurious behavior predominantly in situations when they are forced to eat. They are terrified of gaining weight and use selfinjurious behavior to copewith their anxiety. Self-injury is envisioned as a technique to regain control of their own eating pattern without bothering anyone. They feel shame for not controlling their emotions more constructively. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Healthcare professionals should systematically observe signals and explore less harmful strategies that help to regulate overwhelming feelings