Reconnecting with oneself while struggling between life and death: The phenomenon of recovery as experienced by persons at risk of suicide
The body of knowledge regarding health and recovery as experienced by patients at risk of suicide is limited.More research is needed into the meaning of recovery and what strengthens the desire to live. The aim of this study was to describe the phenomenon of recovery in a context of nursing care as experienced by persons at risk of suicide. In line with a reflective lifeworld research approach, 14 patients from a psychiatric clinic in Sweden participated in phenomenon-oriented interviews. Data were analyzed to describe the essence of the phenomenon. The results reveal that the phenomenon of recovery means ‘reconnecting with oneself while struggling between life and death’. Three meaning constituents emerged: being in an expressive space and giving voice to oneself, regaining dignity through nurturing connectedness, and finding a balance in the tension between life and death. In conclusion, the meaning of recovery is to experience the ability to manage one’s own life. Professional caregivers need to acknowledge patients’ lifeworlds, in a way that enable patients to experience themselves as capable of managing their own lives. Professional caregivers should also facilitate the involvement of supportive relatives.
Manuscript. Published version available in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 26: 200–207. doi:10.1111/inm.12249