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“Your struggles are valid, you are worthy of help and you deserve to recover”: Narratives of recovery from Orthorexia Nervosa.

Talbot, C. V., Campbell, C. and Greville-Harris, M., 2023. “Your struggles are valid, you are worthy of help and you deserve to recover”: Narratives of recovery from Orthorexia Nervosa. Eating and Weight Disorders: studies on anorexia, bulimia and obesity, 28 (25), 1-10.

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s40519-023-01554-3 (1).pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1007/s40519-023-01554-3


Purpose Limited research has examined recovery processes and conceptualisations of recovery within orthorexia nervosa (ON). This study harnessed Instagram data to examine how people who self-identify with ON use the hashtag #OrthorexiaRecovery and how recovery is represented within this online space. Methods 500 textual posts containing #OrthorexiaRecovery were extracted from Instagram. Co-occurring hashtags were analysed descriptively to determine whether this online space is specific to ON, and textual data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results The hashtag analysis indicated that #OrthorexiaRecovery is being used within a wider context of eating disorder recovery and awareness, but also provides deep insights into experiences of recovery from ON. The thematic analysis generated five themes: the invisibility of orthorexia; a turbulent and continuous process; finding food freedom; from compulsive exercise to intuitive movement; a community of support. Our findings suggest that people with self-reported ON experience recovery as a continuous process and the current invisibility of ON within diagnostic criteria and wider society impedes recovery. While working towards recovery, users aimed to be free from diet culture, become more attuned to their bodies, and develop more adaptive relationships with food and fitness. Users noted a general lack of support for people with ON and so used this online space to create a supportive community, though some content was potentially triggering. Conclusion Our findings highlight the importance of increased recognition of ON and the potential value of targeting societal norms and harnessing social identity resources within therapeutic interventions for ON.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Feeding and eating disorders; Eating behaviour; Online communities; Disordered eating; Healthy eating
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38302
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:06 Mar 2023 16:34
Last Modified:06 Mar 2023 16:46


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