Madness’ after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina – challenging dominant understandings of distress

Maglajlic, Reima Ana (2022) Madness’ after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina – challenging dominant understandings of distress. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. pp. 1-19. ISSN 1363-4593

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This article reports on the findings from a small-scale co-produced qualitative study on experiences of distress caused by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Inspired by the emerging interdisciplinary field of Mad Studies, the study is novel and unique in two ways. First, it prioritises social understanding and interpretation of madness and distress. Second, an emphasis is placed on experiential knowledge. Beyond interviews with twenty people who experienced distress due to political conflict, this included contextualisation of the study in the knowledge generated through survivor research and within the field of Mad Studies. Study findings highlight the social causes and consequences of distress caused by conflict, such as war-related violence, gender-based violence, experiences of poverty, and corruption. Participants stressed the importance of safety and support within their own home, mutual and supportive relationships with their families, friends, other people who experienced distress, the broader community, and opportunities to do everyday activities they enjoy. In terms of professional support, the findings suggest that poverty alleviation and protection of people’s right to self-determination through access to human rights advocacy and representation may be as relevant as non-coercive community-based services. This indicates that support for distress caused by political conflict need not be different from any other support for people who experience distress. Emphasis should be placed on survivor-run initiatives and non-coercive, community-based support which addresses social causes of distress and enables people to exercise self-determination.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 11:05

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