The subjective experiences of disagreeing with one's diagnosis of schizophrenia – a phenomenological study

Lundström, Moa Maria Elisabet (2022) The subjective experiences of disagreeing with one's diagnosis of schizophrenia – a phenomenological study. DCPsych thesis, Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC). [Thesis]

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This research focuses not on the diagnosis, aetiology and psychopharmacology of schizophrenia, but on the experiences of receiving an unwanted diagnosis of schizophrenia. Six participants were studied using semi-structured interviews focusing on their experiences of disagreeing with a schizophrenia diagnosis. The material was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three superordinate themes were identified: (I) A self, independent of psychiatric labels, (II) Stigma and being part of society, and (III) Moving away from “mental illness”. Superordinate theme (I) centres around making sense of one’s experiences and creating a coherent self-narrative that can be held as true. Superordinate theme (II) centres around the participants’ experiences of themselves in relation to society. It is about stigma, fitting in, and the cost of social acceptance. Finally, superordinate theme (III) is centred around participants’ strivings towards a better life, fuelled by an underlying sense of hope. Literature around a lack of insight into schizophrenia, illness identity, and acceptance and impact of a psychiatric diagnosis was used to shed light on the findings of the current study. Existential literature was also used, onto which a philosophical understanding of the emergent themes could be built. The clinical significance of this study included a recommendation for mental health professionals to assist people within this population to create a meaningful narrative for their life story, incorporating a positive self-image while practising tolerance towards an individual’s own ways of meaning making. Further qualitative research on the experiences of disagreeing with one’s diagnosis of schizophrenia is certainly called for and recommendations for future research include making clearer distinctions between different ways of disagreeing with one’s diagnosis.

Item Type: Thesis (DCPsych)
Sustainable Development Goals:
Keywords (uncontrolled): Insight, lack of insight into schizophrenia, illness identity, critical psychopathology, subjective experiences of schizophrenia, Interpretative phenomenological analysis, IPA
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Item ID: 37352
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 17:04
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2023 20:19

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