Recovery and hope in relation to schizophrenia

Beate Schrank, Johannes Wally and Burghart Schmidt

in Recovery of People with Mental Illness

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691319
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754791 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Recovery and hope in relation to schizophrenia

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This chapter discusses how philosophy provides a basis for the societal exclusion or inclusion of people with mental health abnormalities and how hope, as a central element of recovery, can be regarded as a prerequisite for the re-establishment of the personally valued social roles of these individuals. The authors look at how different philosophical approaches have understood human nature over time. In their attempt to determine what is normal and what is true, philosophers have always—at least implicitly—also defined what is abnormal; furthermore, they have addressed the relationship between truth and subjective experience, usually allowing for a certain amount of freedom with regard to truth in subjective experience. These various definitions of normality and truth, or abnormality and non-truth, respectively, are relevant background considerations; they impact on what is perceived as psychotic experience within a given society and what is to be done with those who are seen as suffering from a mental condition (i.e. to assign them a place in society or relegate them to the margins). By addressing this, the authors also introduce a philosophical approach to the contemporary concept of personal recovery in mental health. They then proceed to provide a real world example of how the recovery idea can thrive in a societal niche, together with the obstacles and constraints attached to this idea, from a practical as well as from a philosophical perspective. Lastly, the authors illustrate why hope is important for the recovery process. Taking a second look at the example provided in Part 2, they argue that the crucial motivation for hope is not so much the achievement of goals but rather the approximation of goals which might very well change during the process. Hope enables us to take risks and to keep striving even if goals are not achieved. Hope then helps us to adapt, to redefine goals and to continue on the way to recovery. Thus it initiates and sustains recovery

Chapter.  6307 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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