Wāhine Whaiora: Māori Women's Experiences of Bipolar Disorder and their Pathways to Recovery
Harris, P. E. T. K. (2014). Wāhine Whaiora: Māori Women’s Experiences of Bipolar Disorder and their Pathways to Recovery (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8782
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8782
This research examines the unique, lived experiences of wāhine Māori (Māori women) who have been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and who are currently living ‘well’. Recent literature indicates that Māori present at higher rates than non-Māori with bipolar disorder. However, there is little qualitative information about the nature of their experiences, as well as sparse detail of the impacts that bipolar has on their everyday living. The purpose of this research is to highlight Māori women’s experiences of bipolar disorder from initial presentation and assessment through to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. It focuses on the impact bipolar disorder has on women’s relationships with their tamariki (children), whānau (family), and partners, while also exploring social and personal impacts, help-seeking patterns, and stories of recovery. This research heard the stories of 11 wāhine Māori using a narrative-storying technique to allow wāhine to share their unique experiences as they recalled them. A thematic analysis was then used to identify key themes that depicted their journeys of: • Illness and symptom presentation; • Consequences and impacts of bipolar disorder; • Support and help-seeking; and • Wellness and recovery. The intent of this research is to create an awareness of the nature of bipolar disorder as it affects wāhine Māori. It endeavours to expose the experiences they have encountered and their aspirations to be better supported by whānau, and community organisations in their attempts to live active and well lives.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses