"an existential place of pain": The essence of despair in women

Nancy Scroggs, Mona Shattell, William Richard Cowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While there is a substantive body of knowledge on depression, little is known about the experience of despair. Though the terms depression and despair are often used interchangeably, studies of despair suggest that it is distinguishable from depression as experienced by women. This study explored women's experience of despair through qualitative interviews with 14 women ages 28 to 55 (M 45) who self-identified as experiencing despair. Three themes emerged: "Crippling and Debilitating," "There's Nothing You Can Do," and "It'll Never End." The findings lend support to the notion that despair is distinguishable from depression, but this warrants further study. The findings also suggest that while there are common elements of despair among women, there are also unique experiences of despair. While there is a substantive body of knowledge on depression, little is known about the experience of despair. This phenomenological study explored women's experience of despair through qualitative interviews with 14 women ages 28 to 55 (M 45) who self-identified as experiencing despair. Three themes emerged: "Crippling and Debilitating," "There's Nothing You Can Do," and "It'll Never End." The findings suggest that women desire to have their experiences recognized and validated while simultaneously receiving acknowledgment of their ability to overcome the past and to shape their own destinies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
JournalIssues in mental health nursing
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Pain
Depression
Interviews
Aptitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

Cite this

"an existential place of pain" : The essence of despair in women. / Scroggs, Nancy; Shattell, Mona; Cowling, William Richard.

In: Issues in mental health nursing, Vol. 31, No. 7, 01.07.2010, p. 477-482.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Scroggs, Nancy ; Shattell, Mona ; Cowling, William Richard. / "an existential place of pain" : The essence of despair in women. In: Issues in mental health nursing. 2010 ; Vol. 31, No. 7. pp. 477-482.
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