Between Sickness and Health: The Landscape of Illness and Wellness

1st Edition

Christopher D. Ward

Routledge
September 16, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 152 Pages - 6 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138592872 - CAT# K387009

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Summary

Illness, wellness and other possibilities begins with an individual’s subjective experience of ill health, and looks at how this links to ideas about the social construction of illness, and the idea of illness as an object of knowledge, a source of meaning, and a political issue. It then investigates what it means to return to a state of wellbeing.

This text outlines the concept of ‘ill-being’ as something defined by the individual experiencing it, a sense of ‘I am not myself-ness’ that defies the distinctions that doctors and others make between real and fake illnesses and between physical, mental and psychosomatic causes. Recovery from illness is conversely defined as a return to the sense that ‘I am myself’, whether this is as a result of symptoms receding or by escaping their power to dominate our life story. It includes chapters on topics such as:

  • symptoms as performances, and the question of ‘fake’ and ‘genuine’ illness;
  • illness as a social construct as compared to medical knowledges and modes of explanation;
  • illness as a source of personal meaning;
  • the political dimension of illness, including critiques of mental illness and of medicalisation;
  • concepts of healing, care, cure, rehabilitation, convalescence;
  • illness as a disruption of biography, and issues related to identity, power and positioning.

Drawing on the author’s broad experience as a neurologist, rehabilitation physician and psychotherapist, and illustrated by plentiful case studies, this book demonstrates that clearer thinking about illness, disease and disability is both literally and philosophically therapeutic. It is suitable for students, practitioners and academics interested in experiences of ill health and wellbeing.

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