Meaning of resilience as described by people with schizophrenia



Publication Details

Sumskis, S., Moxham, L. & Caputi, P. (2017). Meaning of resilience as described by people with schizophrenia. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26 (3), 273-284.


The aim of this study was to understand the meaning of resilience as described by people who experience schizophrenia. Building resilience is a component of recovery-oriented mental health care and yet almost no research has been conducted into the resilience of people who live with schizophrenia and who are routinely considered vulnerable. Establishing the meaning of resilience in the context of schizophrenia is an important first step in building understanding. Van Kaam's Psychophenomenological Method was used to interpret 14 interviews with people with schizophrenia who are currently well and living in the community. Resilience is invoked in the tension between opposing forces of challenge and support and in the act of striving to take control of schizophrenia. Striving includes repeated, seemingly backwards steps and during this, the person takes risks and seeks out and uses supportive people and resources. Those same supportive people and resources can also be challenging. Resilience is an energy embedded in the process of recovery from schizophrenia and is manifest in an attitude of striving. Taking on challenges and engaging in risk is important within treatment and recovery from schizophrenia.

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