Immobility, Battles, and the Journey of Feeling Alive: Women’s Metaphors of Self-Transformation Through Depression and Recovery
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Australian mental health services have responded to the problem of depression by adopting an early intervention and recovery orientation. Using qualitative research conducted in Australia with 80 women aged 20 to 75 years, we examine how participants invoked particular metaphors to construct meaning about the gendered experience of depression and recovery. We argue that women's stories of recovery provide a rich source of interpretive material to consider the everyday metaphors of recovery beyond clinical notions and linear models of personal change. We identified key metaphors women drew on to articulate the struggle of self-transformation through depression and recovery: the immobilizing effect of depression, recovery as a battle to control depression, and recovery as a journey of self-knowledge. Our findings might be useful for mental health professionals in a range of clinical contexts to reflect on the power of language for shaping how women interpret their experiences of recovery from depression.
Qualitative Health Research
Copyright 2012 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Sociology not elsewhere classified