Shame, pride and eating disorders



This paper explores shame and shame-based responses in eating disorders. Research linking shame with eating disorders and the possible role of shame and pride in the onset and maintenance of eating disorders is reviewed. The experience of shame is likely to be complex, dynamic and variable. However, the key to identifying shame is often via the various coping strategies adopted, which in turn may form part of a maintenance cycle for eating disorder beliefs and behaviours. An outline model of shame and pride cycles in the main-tenance of eating disorders is presented with clinical implications. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message:

  • Shame and pride need to be addressed in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders.