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Title: How do phenomena diagnosed as mental illness impact upon personal identity?
Author: Wainwright, Raymond Geoffrey
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 6483
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2010
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The central question of this study was to ascertain how phenomena diagnosed as mental illness impacted upon sense of personal identity. To facilitate the necessary research, the aims of this study were to examine the experience of mental illness from the perspective of service users. Nine adult respondents (five men, four women) participated in a series of unstructured interviews, each lasting approximately one and a half hours. Some respondents were interviewed twice. Data from the interviews were transcribed by the researcher and subjected to four levels of analysis. Of these levels, the first was the act of transcription, the second conclusions following same, the third close scrutiny of the transcribed document, and the fourth deconstruction into 'idea units'. Integral to this exercise was the use of narrative theory to develop concepts of the respondents' personal narratives with particular reference to the respondents' mental health narratives. Following the four levels of analysis, the personal narratives of the respondents were compared and contrasted in a cross-case analysis. With reference to narrative models developed for the specific purpose of this study, the conclusion was drawn that initial experience of mental illness has a profound effect upon the personal narrative. Thereafter, the resultant impact upon personal identity is influenced by a combination of personal and environmental factors. Some of these may lead to a re-evaluation of past experiences and associated understanding. Accordingly, the outcome of the illness experience may not necessarily be negative, but may be positive by virtue of insights gained. Implications for mental health practice and further research, including the personalisation agenda, are considered.
Supervisor: Repper, Julie ; Grant, Gordon ; Doel, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available