Spider in a Jar: Women Who Have Recovered From Psychosis and Their Experience of the Mental Health Care System

Hagen, Brad; Nixon, Gary
March 2011
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;2011, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
A growing body of literature has documented considerable dissatisfaction with the mental health care system among people who use mental health services. This article adds to this literature by reporting on the results of qualitative interviews done with 18 women who had recovered from some form of transformative psychotic experience and were willing to share their experiences with the mental health care system. The participants unanimously felt that their experiences with the mental health system were very negative and detrimental to their overall healing and recovery process. Four main themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts: (1) "the label factory," which described the capricious and destructive nature of the psychiatric diagnoses they received; (2) "invalidated and unheard," which described how little the women's voices seemed to matter to the mental health care professionals caring for them; (3) "violence and violations," which described the loss of free will and dignity the women experienced during inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations; and (4) "smashing the jar," which described the hopes and dreams these women had for changing the way people receive mental health care. The implications of these findings for mental health practice are discussed.


Related Articles

  • Experiences of acute mental health care in an ethnically diverse inner city: qualitative interview study. Weich, Scott; Griffith, Laura; Commander, Martin; Bradby, Hannah; Sashidharan, S.; Pemberton, Sarah; Jasani, Rubina; Bhui, Kamaldeep // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Jan2012, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p119 

    Purpose: Ethnic inequalities in experiences of mental health care persist in the UK, although most evidence derives from in-patient settings. We aimed to explore service users' and carers' accounts of recent episodes of severe mental illness and of the care received in a multi-cultural inner...

  • SILENCE NOT SO GOLDEN. Townson, Stella // Community Care;6/5/2003, Issue 1475, p24 

    Presents an article on being able to avail mental health services in Great Britain as of June 2003. Information on a conference on women's mental health issues; Significance of a women's mental health newsletter; Importance of making cognitive therapy available to all service users.

  • Adolescent-onset psychosis: prevalence, needs and service provision. Boeing, Leonie; Murray, Val; Pelosi, Anthony; McCabe, Robert; Blackwood, Douglas; Wrate, Robert // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jan2007, Vol. 190, p18 

    Background: Little is known of the epidemiology and care needs of people with adolescent-onset psychosis.Aims: To examine prevalence and the cross-sectional disability, needs and service provision for adolescent-onset psychosis in areas of central Scotland with a total...

  • Getting The Most Out of Service-Gillard. Gillard, Steve // Community Care;3/27/2003, Issue 1465, p2 

    Presents findings of a research conducted in Great Britain to investigate views of mental health services users on the services and to make recommendations that generate improvements for users. Response of women regarding mental health issues; Importance of quality of relationships between...

  • Postnatal social support group needs and explanatory models of Iraqi Arabic speaking women in the year following the birth of their baby in Perth, Western Australia. di Ciano, Taralisa; Rooney, Rosanna; Wright, Bernadette; Hay, David; Robinson, Lena // Advances in Mental Health;2010, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p162 

    The aim of the current research was to explore the nature and type of support required in a postnatal support group intervention for Iraqi women in Australia. A further aim was to understand Iraqi Arabic speaking mothers' explanatory models surrounding motherhood, relevant to the appropriate...

  • Reconstruction et rééquilibrage du lien social: une étude exploratoire sur les rôles de l'inclusion sociale, de l'appropriation du pouvoir d'agir et de l'espoir dans le rétablissement. McCubbin, Michael; Dallaire, Bernadette; Lagrange, Véronique; Wallot, Hubert; Bergeron-Leclerc, Christiane; Cormier, Cécile; Nelson, Geoffrey // Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health;Spring2010, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p1 

    The recovery paradigm in mental health places social inclusion, empowerment and hope at the centre of service delivery. In this article we present results from the qualitative part (n = 15 participants) of an exploratory research project carried out in Quebec City with persons suffering from...

  • Failure of High-Risk Minority Patients to Show Up for Outpatient Psychiatric Treatment. de Figueiredo, John M.; Boerstler, Heidi; Doros, Gheorghe // International Journal of Mental Health;Summer2009, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p91 

    This study compares two groups of individuals who sought outpatient psychiatric treatment (N = 262): those who called and came for an appointment (shows) and those who called and did not come (no shows). The records of an outpatient mental health clinic serving an inner city, low-income...

  • Redefining Consumer Roles. Bluebird, Gayle // Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services;Sep2004, Vol. 42 Issue 9, p46 

    The article considers the role of consumer/survivor providers (CSP) in empowering people with psychiatric disabilities. The use of seclusion and restraint (S/R) among women with histories of sexual abuse and trauma is discussed. The roles for CSP in inpatient setting are described. The...

  • A VOICE FOR TRAUMATIZED WOMEN: INCLUSION AND MUTUAL SUPPORT. Fearday, Frederick L.; Cape, Anita L. // Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal;Winter2004, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p258 

    This paper reports experiences related to including women in recovery and peer support, in a project that developed integrated services for women with co-occurring mental health and substance use disabilities who have also survived violence. We describe strategies to include women in recovery...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics