Making sense of mental illness as a full human experience : Perspective of illness and recovery held by people with a mental illness living in the community.

Gwinner, Karleen, Knox, Marie F., & Brough, Mark K. (2012) Making sense of mental illness as a full human experience : Perspective of illness and recovery held by people with a mental illness living in the community. Social Work in Mental Health.

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Abstract

Recovery is a highly contextualized concept amid divergent interpretations and unique experiences. There is substantial current interest in building evidence about recovery from mental illness in order to inform best practice founded in the ways people find to live productive and meaningful lives. This paper presents some accounts related to recovery and illness expressed by eight people through a Participatory Action Research project. The research facilitated entry to the subjective experiences of living in the community as an artist with a mental illness. The people in the research shared an integrated understanding of illness, recovery and identity. Their understanding provided insight into mental illness as an inseparable aspect of who they were. Further, specific issue was raised of recovery as a clinical term with a requirement to meet distinct conventions of recovery. This paper emphasizes that being ill and being well, for the person with a mental illness, is a dynamic and complex development not easily explained or transformed into uniform process or outcomes. Attempts to establish an integral or consensual approach to recovery has, to date, disregarded mental illness as a full human experience. This paper argues that broader frameworks for thinking and responding to the dynamic processes of mental illness and recovery are needed and require acknowledgment of competing and contradictory ideas.

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ID Code: 56565
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Recovery, Mental Illness, Art, Participatory Action Research , Well being
DOI: 10.1080/15332985.2012.717063
ISSN: 1533-2993 (online) 1533-2985 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS (190500) > Visual Arts and Crafts not elsewhere classified (190599)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Deposited On: 21 Jan 2013 23:15
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2013 05:35

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