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Kroppens mening: Studier i psykosomatiska lösningar
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Body meaning : Studies in psychosomatic solutions (English)
Abstract [en]

Stress-related diagnoses such as ‘burnout’ are a growing and alarming social trend, which affect more and more young people, especially women. These diagnoses are expressions of ‘psychosomatic conditions’ in our contemporary society. The focus in this thesis has been to study meaning constitution when it does not lead to solutions to pressing problems but rather results in a psychosomatic breakdown. A phenomenological analysis was carried out that among other things shows that the road to the breakdown starts early in life, having to do with industrious but not successful attempts to win recognition for the persons’ individuality.

In the second study, physiological measures occurring concomitantly with the informants’ narratives showed that autonomous activity could be distinguished in patterns divided in two groups. One group pattern was linked to helplessness, high arousal and marked stress level and the second group pattern was characterized by hopelessness and a very low level of autonomous activity.

The conclusion of the thesis is that due to an inability to transform structures of thinking, feeling and behaving in a taxing situation, the psychosomatic breakdown can be understood as bodily attempts at meaning constitution, through bodily symptom and other forms of understanding. This, however, cannot help the person constitute meaning needed in order to solve the problematic situation. The reasons for this body/mind split are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2009. , 235 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 153
Keyword [en]
psychosomatics, psychosomatic breakdown, phenomenology, lived body, body-meaning, burnout, stress
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8368ISBN: 978-91-7155-797-1OAI: diva2:200164
Public defence
2009-02-06, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2008-12-05Bibliographically approved

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