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Resolving spiritual challenges in recovery from addiction
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9714-577X
2008 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim: This paper aims to explore the existential aspects of living with addiction.

Background: The study focuses on research into addiction conducted within nursing science and takes as its point of departure the patient’s perspective. Addiction is described as being related to traumatic experience and to loss of control, shame, guilt and low self-esteem, but also to spirituality. This causes profound suffering, and drugs are used as a means of handling this suffering.

Method: The study constitutes a secondary analysis of data derived from a study in 2000. It is based on interviews with people with rich, personal experience of addiction. Analysis was conducted using a hermeneutic approach.

Findings: On an existential level the experiences of living with addiction can be understood as a striving to resolve the spiritual challenges caused by a person’s suffering and, paradoxically, also by his/her efforts to relieve that suffering through the use of drugs. These challenges are presented as existential themes focusing on the conflict that must be resolved; meaning – meaninglessness, connectedness – loneliness, life – death, freedom – adjustment, responsibility – guilt, control – chaos.

Conclusion: Living with addiction appears as being in the midst of a struggle with existential challenges. Further more the use of drugs is paradoxical as it momentarily relieves suffering but at the same time increases it. To understand an addicted person’s health and suffering nurses must be aware of the existential aspects of being addicted and the spiritual challenges that must be addressed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword [en]
addiction, spirtuality
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-12335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-12335DiVA: diva2:419539
Conference
IAHC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Available from: 2011-05-27 Created: 2011-05-27 Last updated: 2017-04-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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