Who am I? An autoethnographic exploration of effects of being diagnosed with a mental illness
LE3 .A278 2015
Yallop, John Guiney
Master of Education
When I was sixteen years old I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Ever since the diagnosis I have tried to distance myself from the label and become “normal.” However, for this thesis I chose to unpack and study my experiences, thoughts, and feelings of being labeled with a mental illness. I explore this topic by using a qualitative method: autoethnography. This method investigates my experiences to gain insight into the complexity of cultural situations as well as to create a thick description of my individual experiences. For the purpose of my research I focus on: how I internalize and externalize bipolar disorder, how this label alters my view of my self, and how different worldview lenses shift what realities I see. I hope that through this thesis the personal impact of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder will be highlighted and richer understandings will be generated regarding the effects of diagnosis.
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