Living with Depression and Anxiety: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Rackley, Lauren (2018) Living with Depression and Anxiety: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/PKHB7619

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Background It is estimated that one in for people will suffer mental distress at some point in their lives, with depression and anxiety being the most common manifestations of distress in the UK. Existing research into mental distress and treatment largely involves questionnaires which do not provide much detail or context. Studies involving participant interviews are able to provide richer accounts of what it is to live with mental distress on a day to day basis, and to find how people generate meaning through these experiences. It is hoped that this study provided a voice to a group that is broadly ignored within psychological research, allowing them to set out what they believe is important to them in terms of their mental wellbeing. Aims The research questions were as follows: what are the participants experiences of living with depression and/or anxiety? And; How has the context of their treatment and self-management influenced these experiences? Qualitative methods were used to answer these questions and to allow participants to tell their stories in their own voices. Method Four one-to-one semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants who had either a current or prior diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. The interview transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results Five superordinate themes emerged across the data sets. These were: living with mental illness is lonely and isolating, not knowing what’s happening is scary, wanting to feel ‘normal’ within and seem ‘normal’ to others, the importance of being understood by professionals, and what you can do for yourself. Conclusions The findings supported the current literature, however, using qualitative methods generated data that provided richer information. The participants’ experiences themselves are to be considered paramount in this study, and no attempt should be made to generalise the results.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental distress; Anxiety; Depression
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA790 Mental health. Mental illness prevention.
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Applied Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2021 17:09
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:04

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