It feels like there’s two of you inside—like there’s another half of you, which is my anorexia, and then there’s the real K [own name], the real me, the logic part of me, and it’s a constant battle between the two. The anorexia almost does become part of you, and so in order to get it out of you I think you do have to kind of hurt you in the process. I think it’s almost inevitable. We came to the (...) concept of authenticity belatedly, one might say. We had been talking to people who had a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa about their experiences of living with their condition, and though we had not raised issues of authenticity or identity ourselves, they often did. They struggled with questions of .. (shrink)
Contemporary diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa explicitly refer to affective states of fear and anxiety regarding weight gain, as well as a fixed and very strong attachment to the pursuit of thinness as an overarching personal goal. Yet current treatments for that condition often have a decidedly cognitive orientation and the exact nature of the contribution of affective states and processes to anorexia nervosa remains largely uncharted theoretically. Taking our inspiration from the history of psychiatry, we argue that conceptualizing anorexia (...) nervosa as a passion is a promising way forward in both our understanding and treatment of that condition. Building on the theory of the passions elaborated by Théodule Ribot, the founder of scientific psychology in France, we argue that there is convincing empirical evidence in defense of the empirical hypothesis that anorexia nervosa is a passion in Ribot’s specific, technical sense. We then explore the implications of this finding for current approaches to treatment, including cognitive–behavioral therapy, and clinical and ethical issues associated with treatment refusals. (shrink)
We are grateful for these two insightful commentaries, which both see novelty and value in the manner in which we invoke the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa is a passion, to help explain data from the Anorexia Experiences Study, which provides the basis of our inquiry. In this response, we wish to clarify and elaborate on our hypothesis; in particular, the difference between passions and moods, the manner in which our hypothesis touches on issues of authenticity and identity, and the compelling (...) parallel with addiction. We also wish to emphasize that, in proposing the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa is a passion, our primary aim is not so much to exclude or replace alternative theoretical approaches. Our focus, really, is to argue that the hypothesis that anorexia nervosa is a passion adds something rich and unique to our current understanding of that condition, which is not fully or adequately captured by alternative accounts... (shrink)
In this commentary on a previous Ethics and Social Welfare publication, the authors argue that inclusive and expansive dialogue about interprofessional ethics is more a matter of ??revitalizing?? traditional professional ethics than developing a new field. The dialogue will be most productive of care improvements if it incorporates the service user, includes both health and social care professions, and occurs across countries.