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Loneliness, the anorexic voice and eating disorder related behaviours


An exploration of the nature of the relationship between feelings of loneliness, the severity of eating disorder related symptoms and behaviours and the experience and intensity of the ‘anorexic voice’. 

What is the purpose of the research? 

Many people who have an eating disorder report that they have experienced an ‘anorexic voice’. 

This voice can encourage them to continue behaviours relating to their eating disorder such as starving themselves. Some people report that this voice at times can be mean but that it can also be supportive and complimentary of what they are doing. Because of this many people have said that they have developed a relationship with this voice. 

During difficult times people can often experience feelings of loneliness, and this can be a factor in a variety of mental health presentations. When we are lonely, we often try to seek to fulfil this need by pursing different avenues of interaction. 

This project aims to look at whether there is a link between individuals feelings of loneliness, their relationship with their anorexic voice, and how this impacts the severity of their eating disorder related behaviours. It is hoped that findings from this research will help us to better understand this relationship and support the development of support systems for those experiencing an ‘anorexic voice’.

Who can take part?

To take part in this study we are inviting individuals, of any age, race, gender or nationality who have experienced eating disorder related behaviours, thoughts and beliefs. Participants do not need to have experienced an ‘anorexic voice’ in any form in order to take part in this study. Participants also do not need to have received a formal diagnosis of an eating disorder at any time to take part in this study. 

How can someone take part?

This study can be completed online. To take part please click here

What does the study involve? 

After reviewing the ‘Participant information sheet’, participants will be asked whether they would like to take part in this research project. Consent will be requested via a ‘Participant Consent Form’, which is available on the next page. Participants will then be asked to complete an online questionnaire which will take around 20-25 minutes to complete. 

Questions will focus on individuals experiences of loneliness, eating disorder related behaviours and also experience of an ‘anorexic voice’. There will be set questions but there will be an opportunity provided to discuss areas that may be important in understanding individual experiences. The online questionnaire includes questions about your weight. However, if you do not feel comfortable answering these questions then you will still be able to take part without answering them

If at any time during the completion of this questionnaire participants decide they do not want to continue, they do not have to provide a reason and can exit the questionnaire. Following completion of this questionnaire participants will be provided with a debrief about the study and will be provided with further details should they wish to discuss their involvement in the study further or have any additional questions. Participants will also be provided with details of third sector services who are able to provide additional support in the areas discussed should they experience any distress as a result of completing the questionnaires.