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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Angela Woods

Over 100 years ago, Emil Kraepelin revolutionised the classification of psychosis by identifying what he argued were two natural disease entities: manic depressive…

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Abstract

Purpose

Over 100 years ago, Emil Kraepelin revolutionised the classification of psychosis by identifying what he argued were two natural disease entities: manic depressive psychosis (bipolar disorder) and dementia praecox (schizophrenia). Kraepelin's discoveries have since become the “twin pillars” of mainstream psychiatric thinking, practice, and research. Today, however, a growing number of researchers, clinicians, and mental health service users have rejected this model and call for a symptom‐led approach to prioritise subjective experience over diagnostic category. The purpose of this paper is to ask: how can the published first‐person accounts of experts by experience contribute to these debates?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses the representation of psychiatric diagnosis in two prominent autobiographies: Kurt Snyder's Me, Myself, and Them: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person's Experience with Schizophrenia (2007) and Elyn Saks' The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness (2007).

Findings

As well as providing a prognosis and a plan for treatment, the psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia gives shape and meaning to the illness experience and ultimately becomes the pivot or platform from which identity and memoir unfold.

Practical implications

The paper introduces two popular autobiographical accounts of schizophrenia which may be useful resources for mental health service users and clinicians.

Social implications

The paper highlights the complex ways in which people interpret and make meaning from their psychiatric diagnosis.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that first‐person accounts make an important, if frequently overlooked, contribution to debates about psychiatric diagnosis.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Abstract

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American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-673-0

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American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-673-0

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2011

Paul Crawford, Charley Baker and Brian Brown

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Abstract

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Abstract

Details

American Life Writing and the Medical Humanities: Writing Contagion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-673-0

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2020

Olivia Sagan

This study aims to explore the lived experience of loneliness among a group of people diagnosed with the contested diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). In…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the lived experience of loneliness among a group of people diagnosed with the contested diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). In so doing, it contributes to works offering dimensional conceptualisations of personality disorders and contributes to loneliness study more broadly which has seen a rise in interest since the Covid-19 epidemic and the subsequent enforced isolation and the resultant new phenomenon of sudden loneliness.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants with diagnoses of BPD were recruited through a combination of calls through online fora and announcements at self-help groups. A total of 25 people made contact, with interviews eventually being carried out with 14 of these. They were invited to take part in unstructured, recorded one-to-one interviews. Thematic analysis was used in this study, which used a narrative phenomenological approach using an Arendtian lens.

Findings

Through attending to the interwoven themes in the narratives of trauma, loss and loneliness, it emerged that the enduring loneliness experienced was compounded by repeated instances of testimonial injustice.

Research limitations/implications

This study supports the need for a further deepening of our understanding of the complexity of experience at the interface of loneliness and mental ill health.

Practical implications

This study critiques the reductive assumptions behind websites, simplistic tool kits and training within the mental health arena dictating “what works” for loneliness. The paper argues for health professionals to develop a more nuanced listening to reported loneliness and that part of what may compound this complex experience among people diagnosed with personality disorder is epistemic injustice, rife within a climate of neoliberalism.

Social implications

Neoliberalism has been identified as a key driver of distinct shifts in mental health policy and the commodification of mental health. Its fixation with medicalisation and its drive to treat “mental illness” as a problem within the individual positions people as self-contained agents and downplays, or worse, ignores the social, cultural and economic dimensions that contribute to the person’s distress. Neoliberalism’s discourse of “responsibilization” for example, urges individuals that families, communities and workplaces rather than publicly funded services become the main resources to respond to in times of mental distress. This, however, assumes a concreteness to these institutions which may be illusory and leaves those in difficulty dependent on presumed immediate social circles. These circles, however, if they exist, may contain the very people who have failed individuals or subjected them to the testimonial injustices so often cited in the narratives of this research.

Originality/value

The Arendtian account of loneliness rests on the premise that the human being of contemporary society is afflicted with a sense of isolation and homelessness, further exacerbated in today’s neoliberal context. By drawing on this account, the enmeshed and complex nature of mental illness, loneliness and dislocation from society and the ways in which continued epistemic injustice negatively impact on mental well-being are laid bare. Phenomenology of loneliness goes some way to helping people without the devastating life experiences common to those diagnosed, rightly or not, with a personality disorder gain a sense of the experience, and this research argues for psychological practice to be more mindful of this literature and the value of closely heard first-person narratives.

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Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Angela Martin, Megan Woods and Sarah Dawkins

Mental health conditions such as depression are prevalent in working adults, costly to employers, and have implications for legal liability and corporate social…

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Abstract

Purpose

Mental health conditions such as depression are prevalent in working adults, costly to employers, and have implications for legal liability and corporate social responsibility. Managers play an important role in determining how employees’ and organizations’ interests are reconciled in situations involving employee mental ill-health issues. The purpose of this paper is to explore these situations from the perspective of managers in order to develop theory and inform practice in workplace mental health promotion.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 Australian managers who had supervised an employee with a mental health issue. Interview transcripts were content analyzed to explore themes in managers’ experiences.

Findings

Managing an employee with a mental health issue involves becoming aware of the issue, taking action to understand the situation and develop an action response, implementing the response and managing the ongoing situation. Each of these tasks had a range of positive and negative aspects to them, e.g., managing the situation can be experienced as both a source of stress for the manager but also as an opportunity to develop greater management skills.

Practical implications

Understanding line managers’ experiences is critical to successful implementation of HR policies regarding employee health and well-being. HR strategies for dealing with employee mental health issues need to consider implementation support for managers, including promotion of guiding policies, training, emotional support and creating a psychosocial safety climate in their work units or teams.

Originality/value

The insights gained from this study contribute to the body of knowledge regarding psychosocial safety climate, an emergent theoretical framework concerned with values, attitudes and philosophy regarding worker psychological health. The findings also have important implications for strategic human resource management approaches to managing mental health in the workplace.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 11 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

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Book part
Publication date: 31 August 1999

Angela Xavier de Brito and Ana Vasquez

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Explorations in Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-886-5

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Book part
Publication date: 12 September 2017

Jane Wilkinson and Annemaree Lloyd-Zantiotis

Recent figures show that half the world’s refugees are children, with young people now representing more than 50 percent of victims of global armed conflict and displaced…

Abstract

Recent figures show that half the world’s refugees are children, with young people now representing more than 50 percent of victims of global armed conflict and displaced persons. Increasing numbers of refugee youth are entering their host nations’ compulsory and postcompulsory educational systems having experienced frequent resettlements and disrupted education, which in turn, pose major barriers for educational and future employment. The consequences of these experiences raise pressing equity implications for educators and educational systems. However, the picture is not uniformly bleak. Employing Bourdieu’s thinking tools of habitus, field and capital, Yosso’s concepts of community cultural wealth and photovoice methods, this chapter draws on studies of refugee youth of both genders from diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds, conducted in regional Australia. It examines how everyday spaces for learning, for example, church, faith-based and sporting groups and family can play a crucial role in enabling young people to build powerful forms of social and cultural capital necessary to successfully access and negotiate formal education and training settings. Its findings suggest first that everyday spaces can act as rich sites of informal learning, which young refugee people draw upon to advance their life chances, employability, and social inclusion. Second, they suggest that how one’s gender and “race” intersect may have important implications for how refugee youth access social and cultural capital in these everyday spaces as they navigate between informal learning and formal educational settings.

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The Power of Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-462-6

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Book part
Publication date: 22 April 2003

Lawrence Angus, Ilana Snyder and Wendy Sutherland-Smith

This chapter reports research conducted in Melbourne, Australia that is focused on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in schools and families…

Abstract

This chapter reports research conducted in Melbourne, Australia that is focused on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in schools and families. The emphasis is on the relationship between technology, learning, culture and (dis)advantage. It is generally agreed that ICTs are associated with major social, cultural, pedagogical and lifestyle changes, although the nature of those changes is subject to conflicting norms and interpretations. In this chapter we adopt a critical, multi-disciplined, relational perspective in order to examine the influence of ICTs, in schools and homes, on a sample of students and their families.

Details

Investigating Educational Policy Through Ethnography
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-018-0

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