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Title: Mania, meaning and gender : an exploratory study to investigate men's experiences of mania
Author: Rishworth, Barbara
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 1842
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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It is apparent from the literature that the accounts and descriptions of 'bipolar disorder' fail to capture the difficulties described by those who experience manic depression. The gender differences in diagnosis, the accounts and experience of manic depression (and specifically mania), have not been sufficiently explored. Furthermore, the majority of the research has been quantitative, and research that has looked at the "personal knowledge" (Peyrot, McMurry & Hedges, 1987) of individuals experiencing manic depression has been sparse. Paveley (2006) considered women's experiences within the context of their social, economic and relational lives. Paveley identified six themes: a) autonomy and the loss of control; b) maintaining a coherent sense of self; c)'paranoia'; d) a need for explanations; e) loss; and f) contradictory responses to depression. The aim of this study therefore was to explore men's experiences of mania (and depression) and to examine how conceptions of gender may have influenced those experiences within the context of their social, economic and relational lives. This study also reflected the extent to which men's experiences of mania accord with the concept of bipolar disorder. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore six men's accounts of mania (and depression) which were then analysed from a critical realist position using a qualitative approach, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Mania emerged as a complex phenomenon with related benefits and difficulties. Five themes were identified: a) Sexuality, Maleness, Femaleness and Mania; b) How I experience, relate to and value mania; c) relationships and mania; d) identity, self and where am T in the experience and e) search for explanations; "Why me? Why now? One theme was explicitly concerned with gender and how gender mediates and is impacted by mania. There was a compelling difference between the men's explicitly gendered accounts and the 'absence' of explicit gender reference in the women's accounts in Paveley's (2006) research. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed and further areas for research outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available