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Towards a more liveable life for close relatives of individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
Inst för vårdvetenskap, Högskolan i Borås.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. (SAMMI)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3164-8681
Inst för vårdvetenskap, Högskolan i Borås.
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 1445-8330, E-ISSN 1447-0349, Vol. 22, no 2, 162-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The life of close relatives of persons with bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with emotional distress, depression and a high level of use of mental health care. Illness-related changes of the life situation endanger relationships, social life, finances and occupational functioning. Understanding of facilitating conditions for close relatives is still a neglected research area. The aim of the present study was thus to explore what makes the life of close relatives of persons with BD more liveable. A lifeworld phenomenological approach was used. The findings reveal that keeping distance, having stability in everyday life and strengthening equality through transparent communication are conditions that enable close relatives to influence the unpredictable and its consequences and thus make life more liveable. This implies contributions from close relatives, the person with BD and the caring services. We propose that healthcare support should not be divided in support for the patient and/or the close relatives but instead be designed as support for the 'patient and close relatives' as a unit. Professional caregivers need to take responsibility for creating intersubjective settings for the person with BD and their close relatives to share their needs and make joint plans for how to influence the illness-related life issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, no 2, 162-169 p.
Keyword [en]
bipolar disorder, close relatives, phenomenology
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-20319DOI: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00852.xISI: 000316294000008PubMedID: 22712875OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-20319DiVA: diva2:535998
Available from: 2012-06-20 Created: 2012-06-20 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bipolär sjukdom - ur ett existentiellt perspektiv
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bipolär sjukdom - ur ett existentiellt perspektiv
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Bipolar disorder - from an existential perspective
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim was to create knowledge about what it means to live with bipolar disorder from an existential perspective, both for individuals with the diagnosis and for their close relatives.

Method: An existential perspective in this context entails that it is explored and described from a lifeworld perspective of individuals who in various ways experience that which is termed as bipolar disorder. The lifeworld phenomenological approach Reflective Lifeworld Research (RLR) was used in the four empirical studies. Meaning-oriented interviews and analysis were conducted following the leading methodological principles of the chosen scientific approach. A synthesis, based on lifeworld hermeneutic existential philosophy, then presents how it is possible to understand the perspective of individuals with bipolar disorder and their close relatives as a coherent whole.

Findings and conclusions: A magnitude and complexity of experiencing, which means that life with bipolar disorder is characterized by extra dimensions, specific tension and contradictions, has been elucidated. Knowledge of the meaning of these aspects enables for the persons with the illness and for their close relatives to understand, to put words to, and to communicate how their life is and what they need, which in turn enhances their ability to influence their lives. It also increases the opportunities for professional caregivers to develop care, both in content and organization, so that it can meet the actual needs of those concerned in an adequate way.

Living with bipolar disorder means so much more than the usual description with changes between episodes of depression and mania. The diagnosis “bipolar disorder” thus appears to be an inadequate label that only reflects the more obvious and visible dimensions of the illness, while those that characterize life in its entirety remain hidden.

The thesis also shows that the importance of the common everyday life of persons with bipolar disorder and their close relatives should be highlighted as the most important factor in a liveable existence. A change in the view of mental health care is thus needed; a change that is characterized by consensus, collaboration and transparent communication between the person with the illness, their close relatives and mental health care. The common goal should be about meeting actual needs, and to strengthen a profound connectedness in order to make everyday life more liveable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press, 2012
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 99/2012
Keyword
bipolar disorder, extra dimensions, existential perspective, lived experiences, phenomenology, close relatives
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-21988 (URN)978-91-86983-80-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-16, Sal Myrdal, Hus K, Växjö, 10:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-10-10 Created: 2012-10-09 Last updated: 2017-02-14Bibliographically approved

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