Through my project I hope to understand how the self is framed by identity/ or labeling. In short how people suffering from physical and mental illness react to having a name for their ailments. Does it help or hinder their identity and understanding of self.

The questions I hope to answer are some of the following; does a diagnosis change the patient? Is the patient now the diagnosis? Is there a sense of relief in having a name for their confusing behavior? Does a diagnosis actually change the course of selfhood in the sufferer? How can one recover their sense of value after being labeled mentally ill? Is there a safety found in naming?

This is an area Siri Hustvedt explores in The shaking woman, Ian Hacking’s Mad Travelers also touches on this topic following the emergence and diagnosis of Albert Dadas. I have found a few pieces that discuss this topic. “Henry’s Demons” by Patrick and Henry Cockburn, Larry Davidson’s article Recovering in schizophrenia. This topic is important in how selfhood is developed and what social constructs influence the creation of self.

This entry was posted in Assignments. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Prompt#2

  1. V.Andrews says:

    Yael- I was thinking along the lines of Schizophrenia, and perhaps Depressive disorders.

  2. I think Yael’s question is the one to think about now. I can imagine two routes. You could focus on some particular aspect of identity that is affected through a variety of diagnoses. Or you could focus on how a particular diagnosis tends to affect the identities of those diagnosed.

    The readings for April 21 are all related to your topic. Checking those out might help you make some decisions.

  3. Have you decided to focus on a specific mental illness diagnoses or are you looking at a range of illnesses/circumstances?

Comments are closed.