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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the lived word of persons with eating disorders. Moving from the phenomenological perspective, it focuses on the role of the awareness and experience of one’s own body as the original anchors of the developing sense of self. It also describes a new instrument for assessment of eating disorders, based on this approach. Finally, it considers the centrality of language for body definition and its relationship with the process of identity construction. From this point of view, eating disorders can be considered as examples of psychopathology of postmodernity, in which linguistic changes and innovations of language definitions mirror the fluidity of cultural transformations and their impact on the body. Therefore, to understand the subjective world of persons with eating disorders, the phenomenological approach takes into account both the way persons speak about their body as well as the way persons perceive their own body.

Keywords: Feeding and eating disorders, body image, self-identity, binge eating, compensatory behaviors, emotional eating

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