This book contains a foreword by Elliot G Mishler - professor of Social Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Patients' views of their identity change with illness, as do health professionals' views of them. This book discusses how and why this happens, and examines how more awareness of this phenomenon can lead to better care. Providing examples from diverse clinical settings, "The Self in Health and Illness" brings together writers from a range of backgrounds including health science, anthropology, sociology, psychology, nursing, medical ethics and healthcare. It considers the narrative self (or constructions of identity) and its place within healthcare and the medical humanities, and assists in clarifying the understanding of 'self' in the context of illness, health and medicine. An enlightening read for all doctors, especially those with an interest in medical humanities, this anthology is also invaluable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of medical humanities, researchers in health sciences and medical ethics. It will also be of great interest to medical anthropologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals. 'If you ask people questions about their lives they tell stories that express some version of "who" they are. Within the healthcare field, narrative researchers from various health professions and social science disciplines have been particularly interested in the potential impact of disability and illness on patient identities. What we find here is an array of quite systematic approaches to the complexities with which people narrate, perform, and possibly transform their identities through their stories. This is a serious undertaking and the editors and authors of these papers treat it with deep respect for our common struggle to make sense of our lives by achieving identities we can live with.' - Elliot G Mishler, in the Foreword.
Table of Contents
The nature of self and how it is experienced within and beyond the health care setting. The power of the projected self: a case study in self artistry. Constructions of self: ethical overtones in surprising locations. Somebody wants to be normal: an account of an HIV narrative. When narratives matter: men, sport, and spinal chord injury. Body and self: a phenomenological study on the ageing body and identity. Self and narrative in schizophrenia: time to author a new story. Motherhood versus patienthood: a conflict of identities. Becoming a nurse: 'It's just who I am'. They stole my baby's soul: narratives of embodiment and loss.