Insulin restriction, medicalisation and the Internet:A corpus-assisted study of diabulimia discourse in online support groups

Brookes, Gavin (2018) Insulin restriction, medicalisation and the Internet:A corpus-assisted study of diabulimia discourse in online support groups. Communication & Medicine, 15 (1). 14–27. ISSN 1612-1783

[img]
Preview
PDF (C_M488_Brookes_final)
C_M488_Brookes_final.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (342kB)

Abstract

Diabulimia is a contested eating disorder characterised by the deliberate restriction of insulin by people with type 1 diabetes in order to lose and control their body weight. This article reports the first discourse-based study of diabulimia. It employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques afforded by corpus linguistics, a methodology for examining extensive collections of digitised language data, to interrogate the discourse surrounding diabulimia in an approx. 120,000-word collection of messages posted to three English-speaking online diabetes support groups. The analysis shows how, despite lacking official disease status, diabulimia was nonetheless linguistically constructed by the support group contributors as if it were a medically-legitimate mental illness. This article explores some of the consequences that such medicalising conceptions are likely to have for people experiencing diabulimia, as well as their implications for health professionals caring for people presenting with this emerging health concern in the future.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Communication & Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2900/2910
Subjects:
ID Code:
127092
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
28 Aug 2018 08:34
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
10 Jul 2020 06:08