Hearing their voices : the lived experience of recovery from first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia

De Wet, Anneliese (2013-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Recovery in schizophrenia was regarded, for a very long time, as a somewhat unattainable goal. In addition, the de-emphasis of the subjective experience of the person living with schizophrenia created an environment where studies on the experience of recovery was disregarded. The dawn of the civil rights movement in the 1960s paved the way for the recovery movement in mental health. A new emphasis was placed on the person living with schizophrenia and his or her individual experience. Together with this, the deinstitutionalisation of long-term patients following the introduction of anti-psychotic medication allowed for recovery in schizophrenia to become a more widely accepted concept. Against this background, this study seemed crucial and focused on how seven participants experienced their recovery from first-episode psychosis in schizophrenia. Each participant was interviewed twice, the interviews transcribed and then analysed with the use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. It was found that support and its natural corollary, having to care for another, are possibly the greatest contributors to the recovery of persons faced with mental illness. Participants highlighted the important role of spirituality in their recovery, despite it being generally regarded as a controversial topic. Since spirituality has the ability to build resilience, it cannot and should not be overlooked. Stigma was found to be ingrained and pervasive, as it so often is for persons faced with mental illness. It can be a barrier to recovery. The retention or rediscovery of the abilities of those challenged by mental illness was seen as a determining factor for recovery, since it (re)introduces a sense of agency. In conclusion, and without fail, all the participants agreed that talking about their experiences aided them. This points to the fact that there can be no question as to the value of the narrative in the process of recovery.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Herstel (recovery) in skisofrenie is vir 'n lang tyd beskou as 'n ietwat onbereikbare doel. Hiermee saam is die subjektiewe belewenis van die persoon wat met skisofrenie saamleef al minder van waarde geag. Dit het 'n omgewing geskep waar die studie van die belewenis van herstel geminag is. Die opkoms van die burgerregtebeweging in die 1960s het die weg gebaan vir die herstelbeweging in geestesgesondheid. 'n Hernude klem is geplaas op die persoon wat met skisofrenie saamleef en sy of haar indiwiduele belewenis. Tesame hiermee, het die ontslag van langtermynpasiënte uit institusionele sorg as gevolg van die bekendstelling van anti-psigotiese medikasie daartoe gelei dat herstel in skisofrenie meer algemeen aanvaar is. Teen hierdie agtergrond is hierdie studie as noodsaaklik beskou en het dit gefokus op hoe sewe deelnemers hul herstel van „n eerste psigotiese episode beleef. Daar is twee onderhoude met elke deelnemer gevoer. Hierdie onderhoude is getranskribeer en daarna geanaliseer met behulp van Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Daar is gevind dat ondersteuning en daarmee saam, om „n ander te versorg, waarskynlik die grootste bydraende faktore is tot die herstel van persone wat deur geestessiektes uitgedaag word. Die deelnemers het die rol van spiritualiteit, wat dikwels as 'n omstrede onderwerp beskou word, beklemtoon. Aangesien dit kan bydra tot veerkragtigheid, kan en moet dit nie oorgesien word nie. Stigma is diepgewortel en deurdringend bevind, soos dit so dikwels is vir dié wat geestessiektes in die gesig staar. Dit kan 'n hindernis tot herstel wees. Die behoud of herontdekking van die vermoëns van dié wat deur geestessiektes uitgedaag word is 'n bepalende faktor, aangesien dit (weer) 'n gevoel van beheer oor die eie aksies (“sense of agency”) inlei, wat so deurslaggewend is tot herstel. Ter afsluiting, en sonder uitsondering, het al die deelnemers saamgestem dat om oor hul belewenisse te praat hulle gehelp het. Derhalwe, kan die waarde van die narratief in die proses van herstel nie betwyfel word nie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85779
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