Ill health is powerlessness: a phenomenological study about worthlessness, limitations and suffering

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The aim of the study was to create an understanding of the different dimensions of subjective ill health through discovering the essence of ill health, based on the individual experience. A philosophical, phenomenological method has been employed, and in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 individuals. The findings showed that the essence of ill health is powerlessness, which is made by a self-image of worthlessness, a sense of being imprisoned in one's life situation, and emotional suffering. The individual views her/himself as worthless, based on societal norms, attitudes and human models. Incapability and a sense of worthlessness cause the individual to distrust her/himself and others. She/he is imprisoned in her/his own life situation due to limited choices and ability. Such a situation gives rise to apathy. Destructive feelings of alienation, anguish, shame and guilt take over, and the individual's autonomy and existence are threatened. Stigmatization results from suffering and a sense of worthlessness. The informants compensated for their vulnerability by means of human support, intimacy with others, a society adapted to disability, living in the present and awareness.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles