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Mental Health Nurses Responding to Suffering in the 21st Century Occidental World: Accompanying People in Their Search for Meaning
Univ Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.;Univ Coimbra, P-3000 Coimbra, Portugal.;Univ Malta, Msida, Malta..
Buskerud & Vesybld Univ Coll, Buskerud, Norway..
Hedmark Univ Coll, Elverum, Norway..
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
2015 (English)In: Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, ISSN 0883-9417, E-ISSN 1532-8228, Vol. 29, no 1, 19-25 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Much of contemporary health and mental health practice pays little attention to suffering, and when it does, invariably suffering is conflated with pain. Within such views, the health care practitioner ought to be concerned with removing or stopping the suffering as, for many parts of the occidental world at least, suffering is regarded as antagonistic to the pursuit of happiness. However, it has been recognized since ancient times that the experience of suffering can give rise to growth. This view sees suffering as an inevitable aspect of the human condition and experience; as something that might need to be endured, minimized, relieved, explored for meaning and maybe even learned from. The former conceptualization of suffering leaves little, if any, room for the sufferer to be to be proud of his suffering and to consider it ennobling rather than degrading, and such views are highly congruent with the increased pathologizing of 'everyday life' and with that, the inexorable proliferation of pharmacological treatment'. Accordingly, we assert that there is a clear need for Psychiatric/Mental Health nurses to re-think their views of suffering and consider how they might help the person discover meaning in the experience; how they might accompany the individual on his/her suffering journey. We therefore identify a range of approaches and interventions that Psychiatric/Mental Health nurses can use when attempting to help those experiencing mental health-related suffering. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 29, no 1, 19-25 p.
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Research subject
Social Work; Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41637DOI: 10.1016/j.apnu.2014.09.008ISI: 000349140000007PubMedID: 25634870OAI: diva2:918536
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-04-13Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Bengt G
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