Living with psychiatric labels

Lloyd, Emma (2015) Living with psychiatric labels. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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This thesis contains three papers which explore people’s experiences of living with psychiatric diagnoses. The first paper is a review of the literature relating to young people’s experiences and perceptions of stigma resulting from psychiatric diagnoses. The review identified 16 studies: eight qualitative, six quantitative, and two mixed methods. A range of stigma perceptions and experiences were reported by young people with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses. The majority of young people believed that society perceived those labelled with psychiatric diagnoses as different. Stigma was experienced within families, friendships, peer groups, and in school. Experiences ranged from being devalued to being rejected. Young people internalised stigma, resulting in loss of self-worth, feelings of shame and an altered sense of identity. The second paper is an original piece of qualitative research exploring experiences of living with a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis, for people who have had contact with the Criminal Justice System. Semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the lived experience of seven people diagnosed with BPD. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis, six themes emerged: A label without meaning; How others see me; How I see myself; Getting into trouble; Power and Control; and The utility of the diagnosis. Participants experienced the diagnosis in a predominantly negative way; experiencing stigma, an altered sense of self, and difficult experiences within mental health services. For some participants, their offending behaviour was attributed to their diagnosis. All participants described experiences of trauma; which was more helpful in making sense of their difficulties than was the diagnosis. The third paper integrates findings from the literature review and the empirical study, discussing implications for theory, future research and clinical practice. Finally my personal reflections of the research process are shared.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology > Clinical Psychology
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 05 May 2016 11:13
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6042
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