Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Factors that Are Conducive to Psychosocial Wellness in Adults Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Who Have Chosen to Discontinue Psychiatric Medications
by Toni, Amanda L., M.S.W., Southern Connecticut State University, 2020, 66; 27997512
Abstract (Summary)

This investigative thesis, conducted with the approval of the Southern Connecticut State University Institutional Review Board, documents an exploratory qualitative study of adults who have been previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (BD) and are currently choosing to manage their symptoms without medication. This project was conducted to answer the following questions: What factors do adults diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder perceive to be most helpful for encouraging positive psychosocial adjustment in the absence of medication? In addition, what factors originally contributed to the decision to stop taking medication? Qualitative data was collected using a flexible topic interview guide, consisting of a mix of open- and closed-ended questions, and was then analyzed for emerging themes using Grounded Theory methods (Charmaz, 2006).

Findings are divided into two categories, with subthemes for each: Deciding to get off medications: (1) Side Effects, (2) Awareness of Other Options, and (3) Change of Life Circumstance; and Staying well in the absence of medication: (1) Maintaining Physical Health, (2) Community Involvement and Advocacy, (3) Knowing and Setting Limits, (4) Hobbies and Passions, and (5) Reaching Out for Help When Needed. Information gained in this study further refines the psychosocial interventions currently being utilized by social workers to support adults who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and choose not to take psychotropic medication, and has far-reaching implications for social work policy and best practice when it comes to encouraging a holistic approach to treating mental illness.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bellamy, Chyrell D.
Commitee: Carpenter, Elisabeth Counselman, Rofuth, Todd W., Hauselt, W. Jerome
School: Southern Connecticut State University
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Social work, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Bipolar disorder, Mental health disorder, Psychosocial wellness, Psychotropic medication use, Recovery, Social model of mental health
Publication Number: 27997512
ISBN: 9798641062549
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