Recovery and severe mental illness: The role of romantic relationships, intimacy, and sexuality.

TitleRecovery and severe mental illness: The role of romantic relationships, intimacy, and sexuality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBoucher M-E, Groleau D, Whitley R
JournalPsychiatr Rehabil J
Volume39
Issue2
Pagination180-2
Date Published2016 Jun
ISSN1559-3126
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The overall aim of this article is to examine the self-defined role of romantic relationships, intimacy and sexuality in recovery from severe mental illness.METHOD: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 35 people with severe mental illness, accompanied by participant observation. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.RESULTS: The vast majority of participants considered a supportive relationship that was emotionally or sexually intimate to be a key facilitator and indicator of recovery. However, only a small minority of participants were actually in such a relationship. Participants reported numerous barriers to forming and maintaining such relationships such as financial strain and enduring stigma against people with mental illness.CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Addressing relational and intimate needs have not been a focus of traditional psychiatric services. As such, some form of "supported dating" within the field of psychosocial rehabilitation may be an essential development to foster an oft-overlooked but important aspect of recovery. (PsycINFO Database Record

DOI10.1037/prj0000193
Alternate JournalPsychiatr Rehabil J
PubMed ID27176638