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Extra Dimensions in all Aspects of Life: The Meaning of Life with Bipolar Disorder
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
University of Borås, School of Health Science.
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 4, no 3, 159-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Living with Bipolar Disorder (BD) greatly affects the whole life; still the meaning of it is poorly explored from the perspective of the individuals actually living with it. The aim of this study is thus to explore the existential meaning of life with BD. Ten persons, six women and four men, (aged 30 61), diagnosed with BD were interviewed. A reflective lifeworld perspective based on phenomenological philosophy was used. The findings show that living with BD entails experiencing extra dimensions in all aspects of life, expressed in terms of a magnitude and complexity beyond that which is perceived as pertaining to normal life. The essential meaning of the phenomenon is further described by its constituents: ‘‘a specific intensity’’, ‘‘a struggle to understand’’, ‘‘an illness that is intertwined with one’s whole being’’. Living with BD means more for the individual than having episodes of depression and mania and must therefore be understood from a holistic perspective. Adequate care for persons with BD, therefore, includes places for safe and profound reflecting about existential issues, such as identity, trust and self-confidence. The present study recommends the caring services to change their ways to explain and talk about the BD illness.

Abstract [en]

Living with Bipolar Disorder (BD) greatly affects the whole life; still the meaning of it is poorly explored from the perspective of the individuals actually living with it. The aim of this study is thus to explore the existential meaning of life with BD. Ten persons, six women and four men, (aged 30_61), diagnosed with BD were interviewed. A reflective lifeworld perspective based on phenomenological philosophy was used. The findings show that living with BD entails experiencing extra dimensions in all aspects of life, expressed in terms of a magnitude and complexity beyond that which is perceived as pertaining to normal life. The essential meaning of the phenomenon is further described by its constituents: "a specific intensity", "a struggle to understand", "an illness that is intertwined with one's whole being". Living with BD means more for the individual than having episodes of depression and mania and must therefore be understood from a holistic perspective. Adequate care for persons with BD, therefore, includes places for safe and profound reflecting about existential issues, such as identity, trust and self-confidence. The present study recommends the caring services to change their ways to explain and talk about the BD illness. Key words: Bipolar disorder, caring science, extra dimensions, holistic understanding, lifeworld research, phenomenology

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Co-Action Publishing , 2009. Vol. 4, no 3, 159-169 p.
National Category
Nursing Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-2609DOI: 10.1080/17482620902864194Local ID: 2320/5303OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-2609DiVA: diva2:870703
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2016-03-14

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