How do people with a mental health diagnosis construct an identity?

Platt, Suzanne (2016) How do people with a mental health diagnosis construct an identity? D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Psychiatric diagnosis is used to categorise and treat mental health problems in the UK yet is widely criticised for struggling to convincingly categorise the experience of distress and that it is socially constructed from the culmination of historical and cultural interactions. Service-user accounts are varied and there is a paucity of qualitative research that considers the positive and negative effects of labelling. To understand identity construction in the context of a psychiatric diagnosis, the present study recruited 16 participants from a service-user research group and five focus groups were conducted. Transcripts were studied using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. Two major identities were detected ‘illness identity’ and ‘recovery identity’. Participants drew on multiple and competing discourses and which placed them in the position of patient and/or survivor. Medical discourses were dominant throughout the focus groups and were used in a way to convey the fluidity of the identity and how they related to their diagnosis. The study’s limitations are discussed, together with implications for clinical practice and future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: self, identity, diagnosis, mental health, distress, labelling
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0697 Differential psychology. Individuality. Self
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0512 Psychopathology. Mental disorders
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 14:31
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2018 04:50

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00