DOI: 10.1111/jpm.12967 ISSN:

An account of loneliness while living with an eating disorder

Paulann Grech, Andrew Azzopardi, Sarah Borg
  • Pshychiatric Mental Health

Accessible Summary

What is known on the subject?

Severe and prolonged loneliness is known to be detrimental to mental well‐being. Eating disorders and loneliness are linked to each other with loneliness often acting as a barrier during the recovery journey.

What this paper adds to existing knowledge?

This paper explores the experience of loneliness while recovering from an eating disorder, as framed within the context of childrearing and challenging family dynamics. While loneliness has negative connotations, it may act as a ‘companion’ to the person experiencing it.

What are the implications for practice?

The first visible need is that for public figures to raise awareness of loneliness and mental well‐being. Another emerging issue is the need to re‐think automatic negative assumptions associated with loneliness. Importantly, professionals and caregivers have to consider the co‐morbidity of loneliness and mental illness. Links between loneliness and unhealthy family dynamics also need to be assessed when providing support.

More from our Archive