1 results for Aschebrock, Yasmin

  • Different Realities: Challenging Conventional Ways of Conceptualising Delusions and Hallucinations

    Aschebrock, Yasmin (2005)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Delusions and hallucinations are typically regarded in contemporary Western societies as signs of serious mental illness - that is, as essentially meaningless surface expressions of a biological process, that are almost invariably distressing and harmful to those experiencing them. However, these conventional ways of conceptualizing delusions and hallucinations are increasingly being contested (by critical psychologists and by some of those who experience these kinds of phenomena). As part of this trend, this thesis highlights the need to move beyond traditional ways of construing delusions and hallucinations and to open up new ways of thinking about them. In Part One, I present analyses from an international survey of 58 mental health practitioners and researchers, which I conducted to investigate their understandings of delusional and hallucinatory content. I explore their views concerning the importance of attending to the content of delusions and hallucinations, and a possible relation between gender and the content of these phenomena. In Part Two, I present analyses of interviews with 11 women who have experienced delusions and hallucinations. I explore the linguistic resources available to those who experience delusions and hallucinations for talking about these kinds of phenomena, and the ways in which they may attempt to make sense of such experiences. I illustrate some of the challenges to traditional ways of conceptualising delusions and hallucinations by drawing upon the accounts of five of the women I interviewed. I aim, in this thesis, to question and disrupt conventional understandings of delusions and hallucinations and to increase the availability of some alternative (marginalised) ways of construing them. I emphasise the need to consider (and critically examine) the potential practical and moral implications of various ways of conceptualising delusions and hallucinations.

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