Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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Four published memoirs refute culturally dominant ideas about severe mental illness as personal weakness, as something shameful, and as a condition that necessarily leads to isolation and disenfranchisement. The narrative structure and content of the memoirs reveal that people’s experience differs from the hegemonic discourse: while narrating symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and acceptance of the illness, all four authors present themselves as accomplished, self-possessed, and socially integrated. Their memoirs, and the act of narrating their experiences with mental illness, challenge the established cultural discourse of mental illness as limitation. The narratives help change that discourse and our social attitudes toward people with mental illness.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): memoirs; mental illness; narrative therapy; social construction; writing
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