Veronica Richichi, Alessandro Chinello, Francesca Parma, Luigi Enrico Zappa, Elvis Mazzoni, Fiorella Monti

Anorexia Nervosa and internet: A Study on Pro-Ana Blogs in Italy

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Pro-Ana; Anorexia; Online.

Pro-Ana blogs are virtual spaces where teenagers suffering from anorexia nervosa (AN) express thoughts and emotions that they cannot communicate offline. Blogs consists in diaries, personal pages about anorexia nervosa (AN) as a lifestyle and a model of self-control, even providing practical advices. This observational research aims to describe the online vocabulary and contents of 10 web sites openly in favor of AN, through a textual analysis by using T-LAB software, measuring and mapping the occurrence among words. Within the corpus, the most frequent words (> 750) have been identified: to eat (1.484), to feel (1.472), to see (945) and to succeed (758). For each word, the relative semantic area was reconstructed and an analysis of associations (previous and subsequent words) was provided. From our findings emerge some central issues of anorexia, such as a profound discomfort of a interpersonal relation with Others, an emotional isolation and a difficulty in managing emotions associated with fear and control loss. Pro-Ana blogs may represent an adolescent challenge, a manifestation of unfulfilled needs regarding relationships, confrontation and communication, especially for those young people who cannot ask for an help in mental health services.

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