Hastings, N. McNamara, . Jacqueline
Allan, M. Marriott
A significant barrier to recovery for individuals with co-morbid eating disorders and type 1 diabetes is the way in which group members self-categorise. Nonetheless, identity issues are neglected during the recovery process. The aim of this paper is to explore how group memberships (and the associated identities) both contribute to and hinder recovery in this cohort. Transcripts from five online focus groups with 13 members of an online support group for individuals with ‘Diabulimia’ were thematically analysed. Findings suggested that those with whom one shares a recovery identity can be well placed to provide psychological resources necessary for successful recovery although such connections can be damaging if group norms are not managed. Members recognised that other important relationships (including family and friends and health professionals) are also key to recovery, these other group memberships (and the associated identities) can be facilitated through the recovery identity group membership, which allows for external validation of the recovery identity, provides encouragement to disclose the illness to supportive others, and provides information to facilitate positive service interactions. While clinical interventions typically focus on eliminating disordered behaviours, we suggest that these should also include strengthening important group memberships that promote recovery.
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Published on 26/05/17Submitted on 26/05/17
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