Browsing by Author "Shirley, Renee"
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Results Per Page
- ItemNot suicidal, just don’t want to live : A critical discourse analysis of the discursive construction of depression and suicidal ideation in the mental health community on Reddit(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Shirley, Renee; Mongie, Lauren Danger; Brookes, Heather Jean; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH SUMMARY : This research study investigated the discursive (re)construction of experiences of depression and suicidal ideation on the online social networking (OSN) platform Reddit from 2021-2022 through a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) lens. The study aimed to aid contemporary understandings of the ways in which depression and suicidal ideation is currently being (re)constructed online in order to gain insights into the ways in which people describe their lived experiences of mental illnesses on anonymous OSN platforms such as Reddit. Another primary aim of the study was to make a meaningful contribution to the field of CDA by surpassing the conventional focus on discourse produced by power elites in order to enforce their dominance against oppressed and marginalised communities and increase our insight into the different ways that experiences of depression and suicidal ideation are articulated and discursively (re)constructed when all audience members have the same opportunities to participate in the discourse. In order to explore this topic, this study addressed the following research questions: (i) How are depression and suicidal ideation discursively (re)constructed on a Reddit forum that topicalises depression and suicidal ideation?; (ii) Which themes occur most commonly in online discussions of depression and suicidal ideation?; (iii) Which discursive devices are used to (re)construct the themes of depression and suicidal ideation?; and (iv) What are the attitudes and ideologies surrounding depression and suicidal ideation on a specific forum on Reddit called r/depression? To answer the listed research questions, the data collected for this study were analysed within the paradigm of CDA using van Dijk’s (1991, 1993, 1995a,b,c, 1998a, 2001, 2006) socio-cognitive approach to CDA, Baker’s (2006) Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analysis, Braun and Clarke’s (2006, 2019) Thematic Analysis, and Labov’s (1997, 2006) approach to Narrative Analysis. The findings of this research study revealed that the posts on r/depression were largely focused on five main themes, namely (i) Experiential depressive symptoms, (ii) Suicidal ideation, (iii) Solutions to depression and suicidal ideation, (iv) Causes of depression, and (v) Reasons they do/won’t want to die. The content of these themes suggests that discourses on the subreddit r/depression express negative attitudes towards depression, with users frequently (re)constructing depression as a negative personified entity that controls their lives; whereas, in contrast, representations of suicidal ideation are generally (re)constructed in a positive way in the sense that it is frequently described as a hypothetical thought exercise that people use as a coping strategy, rather than making actual plans to complete suicide. Finally, the study found that there was a significant amount of self-stigmatisation in the posts in which authors othered themselves by expressing negative sentiments about themselves and their experiences with depression. This finding contradicts van Dijk’s (2011: 396) prediction that discourse always constructs members of the ingroup in positive ways.