Death Matters pp 107-127 | Cite as

On Anorexia Nervosa and the Embodied Being-Toward-Death

  • Nicklas NeumanEmail author


This chapter analyzes recovery stories about anorexia nervosa through re-analyses of narratives from published scientific articles—these articles are using qualitative interviews as their method, and all are written by scholars in health science disciplines such as caring science and clinical psychology. Theoretically, this chapter draws on Heidegger’s existentialist concept of death combined with Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodied perception. The recovery stories highlight notions of life and death for the disorder itself, not just the individual suffering from it, as anorexia nervosa is described as having a life of its own that places the sufferer’s self under siege. Overcoming the disorder is thus not only important to the individual’s survival, but is also framed as an existential prerequisite for the re-birth of a “true self.”


Anorexia nervosa Eating disorders Death Recovery stories Being-toward-death Embodied perception Heidegger Merleau-Ponty 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and DieteticsUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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