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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RODRIGUEZ G, Maritza et al. Between Internal Suffering and Silenced Words: Analysis of Narratives of Women with Eating Disorders, Trauma and Self-mutilation. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.36, n.2, pp.237-254. ISSN 0034-7450.

Objective: This study aimed to explore and analyze the meaning of self-injury without suicidal intention in the context of life experiences, in women with Eating Disorders (ED). Method: 9 women between the ages of 15 and 39 with Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder and a history of self-injury were interviewed in-depth. The interviews were recorded and transcribed and a content analysis was made using triangulation techniques. The categories found were described and analyzed from a clinical, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral perspective. Results: Self-abusive behaviors could be linked to four categories: Selfpunishment or blame related to traumatic experiences, the relief of painful emotional states, an intense urge to put outside emotional pain not tolerated within, and dissociative states. The meaning of the self-injury could be to seek either self-integration or a dissociative state. All patients had suffered early traumatic experiences like sexual or physical abuse, or they or in some cases their families had been victims of violent acts such as kidnapping or assaults. Conclusions: The relationship between trauma, dissociation, self-injury and ED was present in these women. Narrative analysis seems to be a useful therapeutic tool, facilitating expression and integration. These findings point towards the need of a specific model of intervention for this subgroup of patients.

Keywords : Eating disorders; self-injurious behavior; dissociative disorders.

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