Essay about Losing the self

Essay about Losing the self

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Man is deemed to be both a biological and a social being; and as such, man’s health is depicted scientifically and sociologically (Williams & Bendelow, 1998). This recognition of man’s health as more than a biological phenomenon has highlighted the significance of the ontological and emotional component of health and illness (Williams & Bendelow, 1998, pp. 21-22). Illness, described as the “social meaning of the biological condition [disease]” (Eisenberg, 1977 cited in Conrad & Barker, 2010), is experienced as influenced by culture and social systems (Conrad & Barker, 2010). The process whereby an individual experience an illness has, subsequently, appealed and interest many scholars and researchers alike as noticeably indicated by the diverse literature currently available.
This increasing popularity of ‘illness experience’, however, is not without challenges and disputes. For decades, branches of both science and sociology have endlessly argued about the role of the “body” and the “self” in the illness experience of an individual and those around them (Thomas, 2007; Latimer, 2009). Nonetheless, it is acknowledged that both have a significant impact in genuinely understanding the lived experience of being ill of the individual and/or their families (Thomas, 2007, pp. 3-4) Despite this mutual recognition, however, ‘losing control of the self’ remains a complex paradigm that continues to bemuse health researchers and scholars alike, and as such, has gained much interest as opposed to its biological counterpart (Williams & Bendelow, 1998).
The purpose of this paper then is to present how “losing control of the self” encapsulates the lived experience of being ill of the individual and their families. However, due to the extensive...


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...ries and other neurotraumatic diseases. Moreover, ‘loss of self’ was not only observed in ill individuals but in spouses and children as well.
The justifications made for the argument are, however, by no means an exhaustive account of the complex concepts, models and theories involved in the relationship between the body and the self. Rather, these are merely a general overview of what the ‘self’ is to properly understand how the theme of ‘losing the self’ can be experienced by both ill individuals and their families. Therefore, a more in-depth research on the concepts presented needs to be focused on. Lastly, as emphasis was given entirely on the process of losing control of the self, as implications on further research on the recognition and re-living of the new ‘self’ as experienced by those individuals who have previously lost their known self are recognised.

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