Waitoki, W., Nikora, L. W., Harris, P. E. T. K., & Levy, M. P. (2015). Reconnecting whānau: Pathways to recovery for Māori with bipolar disorder. In Proceedings of the International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2014 (pp. 147–154). Conference held at The University of Auckland, New Zealand: Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9278
While Māori are known to experience a higher burden of mental health and addiction problems compared to non-Māori (Baxter, 2008), little exploratory research has been conducted into Māori experiences of bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar disorder is at times regarded as a “life sentence”, with little hope of recovery. The recovery- focused mental health literature, however, argues wellness is achievable for even the most intractable conditions (Lapsley, Nikora, & Black, 2002; Mental Health Commission, 2001). The aim of this research was to gather information about the experiences of Māori who were diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. Interviews were conducted with 22 Māori wāhine (women) and tāne (men), and using thematic analyses, themes relevant to their life stories were uncovered. This research sought to contribute to the realisation of Māori potential by explicitly shifting from deficit- focused frameworks to a focus on systemic factors that influenced Māori wellbeing. Highlights were that whānau (participants) who were connected with friends, partners and family were motivated to achieve wellness and to stay well.
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