BACKGROUND: Researchers have identified the reestablishment of self-identity as a key part of recovery in individuals with schizophrenia. Previous studies have increased scholars’ understanding about how and when identity changes occur in those with schizophrenia; less is understood about the process by which individuals with schizophrenia reconstruct their self-identity. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to describe the process of self-identity reconstruction in people with schizophrenia. STUDY DESIGN: A grounded theory study was conducted with 10 purposively selected participants and 4 significant others; 19 semistructured interviews were completed. RESULTS: Constant comparative analysis led to a theory of a six-stage process of self-recovery in those with schizophrenia. For some participants, the successful struggle to care for a new self led to the refinement and eventual recovery of self-identity. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with schizophrenia experience a process of distinct changes in self-identity occurring between engulfment by a severe mental illness and emergence of a new self.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joyce_shea/12/