• Thea Kåstrup Müller
  • Thea Holm Pedersen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
Introduction: Psychiatric patients can be difficult and expensive to treat. Every 5th adult in Denmark struggle with psychological problems, and the life expectancy of a person with mental illness is 16-25 year shorter than the average.
All these factors taken into account, does not mean that this group of people is not worth investing in, moving slow with and handling with care. Quite on the contrary, because this is a sensitive group, and because the difficulties they face can threaten their health and well-being, it is essential that extra focus and care are pointed towards them.
In this masters thesis the aim of the authors, was to expand their understanding of the experiences and challenges of psychiatric patients. This was done with a basis in the question: What is the experience of being a patient within the psychiatric system, and what challenges do they describe?
Method: The research was carried out using a pragmatic and breakdown driven approach to research, meaning that theoretical ontologies are seen as tools to be used to gain further understanding of the lived experience.
Semi-structured qualitative life world interviews were carried out with three informants, all with long histories and experiences as psychiatric patients. The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: The analysis yielded three themes with regard to the experiences and challenges these three faced in the psychiatric system. The themes were: What happened to the human being, Caring as a radical act and To play the game.
Discussion: Developing further on the themes, the thesis theorizes that the psychiatry can be viewed as a culture. The culture is explained further using a triangular model, where each corner of the triangle is a factor that facilitate and maintain the culture. These factors are: Micro-practices, Makro-practices and The historical context.
Conclusion: Seeing the psychiatric system as a culture, showcases how difficult it can be to create change, but it shouldn’t make change seem impossible. Instead the view of psychiatry as a culture further help the understanding of the challenges and experiences, the patients face within the system. It can also pave the way for new research within this realm of understanding the system.
Publication date29 May 2020
Number of pages97
ID: 333155349