Living with schizophrenia and atypical medication
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Living with schizophrenia and atypical medication

Anthony Gill Mental health practitioner, Leeds University School of Healthcare
Peter Morrall Associate professor in health sociology, University of Leeds
Peter Knapp Senior lecturer, University of York

Anthony Gill and colleagues aimed to find out more about the lived experience of schizophrenia by interviewing patients with the illness and analysing the diaries they kept of their daily lives

Background There is no available evidence providing detailed and valid accounts of how people with schizophrenia construct meaning in their lives.

Aim To explore the lived experiences of people with schizophrenia who had been prescribed atypical antipsychotic medications.

Methods Adopting a phenomenological approach, a purposive sample of 19 adults with schizophrenia provided data using a combination of daily diaries and individual face-to-face interviews.

Findings Five core themes were evident in the data: social isolation, stigma, quality of life, confidence and social networks. The findings provide a distinctive, enlightening and encouraging insight into how people diagnosed with schizophrenia live their lives.

Conclusion Participants reported a loss of identity and control over their lives and they said that stigma continues to have a detrimental effect on their lived experiences. However, despite these impairments, many of the participants managed to integrate themselves into the community and participate in meaningful activities associated with everyday living.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 5,12-19. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.5.12.s16

Correspondence

lifag@leeds.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 09 July 2015

Accepted: 28 September 2015