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Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto)

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Abstract

FAVA, Melina Vianna  and  PERES, Rodrigo Sanches. From mental emptiness to body emptiness: a psychoanalytical view on pro-anorexia virtual communities. Paidéia (Ribeirão Preto) [online]. 2011, vol.21, n.50, pp. 353-361. ISSN 0103-863X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-863X2011000300008.

“Pro-anorexia” virtual environments, which focus on the promotion and perpetuation of this disorder, have proliferated on the internet around the world. This paper presents a psychoanalytic view on virtual communities of this nature. This is a documentary study with a qualitative and naturalistic approach. The descriptions of ten Brazilian “pro-anorexia” virtual communities were submitted to descriptive and exploratory analyses. These analyses show that the denial of the psychopathological nature of the disorder and the refusal of one’s own femininity promote the anorexic behavior. A tendency to personify anorexia nervosa was observed, which indicates an important narcissistic fragility. Thus, we consider appropriate to align anorexia nervosa to the nosological concept of mental emptiness, a pathological condition potentiated by the current society. Therefore, we believe that from the perspective of anorexia nervosa, the dictates of cultural repression promote a kind of transposition from mental emptiness to body emptiness.

Keywords : anorexia nervosa; psychoanalysis; internet.

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