Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Fedunina N.Yu., Korobeynikova E.Yu. Eating disorders in sports

Natalia Yu. Fedunina, Ph.D (Psychology), Center for sports technologies and training of sports teams of Moskomsport, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Sovetskaya Armii str., Moscow, Russia, 129272; Natalia_fedunina@mail.ru
Ekaterina Yu. Korobeynikova, psychologist, Center for sports technologies and training of sports teams of Moskomsport, Moscow, Russia; bld. 6, Sovetskaya Armii str., Moscow, Russia, 129272; ekaterinayk28@yandex.ru

Risk factors for the development of eating disorders that are specific to high-achievement sports are discussed in the article. Instrumental attitude to the body, common in sports, can complicate the processes of adaptation to the reality of the body, its limitations and needs. The hypothesis of the connection of eating disorders with the deficiency of the internal structure, which would help contain the variety of sensations and experiences, is revealed. However, neither the specifics of the sport, nor high loads as such, do not lead to the development of an eating disorder. The psychological meaning that sports activity acquires for an athlete comes to the fore. Two growth models are discussed, two ways that can be found in sports. The first is connected with the recognition and acceptance of the body with its limitations, needs and capabilities, the second way, being under the yoke of the fantasy of almighty achievement, is associated with the neglect and exploitation of the body, can lead to serious long-term consequences for physical and mental health. It is emphasized that the manifestations of eating disorders in athletes require a serious attitude, as well as the involvement of various specialists, including a doctor, psychologist, nutritionist, coach and parents. The task of the psychologist in this team is to understand the meaning of the symptoms of an eating disorder for an athlete, to help develop skills for mentalizing emotional experiences, states and needs, to form a culture of understanding and caring for the body, to develop internal space and internal objects capable of noticing, understanding and transforming complex internal states.

Key words: eating disorders, risk factors, psychoanalysis, sports

For citation: Fedunina, N.Yu., Korobeynikova, E.Yu. (2022). Eating disorders in sports. New Psychological Research, No. 3, 91–109. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2022_02_03_05

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank Cléopâtre AthanassiouPopesco and Jeanne Magagna for their help in working on the article.

keywords: eating disorders, risk factors, psychoanalysis, sports

received 29 September 2022

published 29 September 2022

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