How Diagnosis Can Change Identity in the United States
One of the challenges of living with schizophrenia in the United States is the clear identity conferred by the diagnostic label itself. In a society so acutely aware of individual rights, care involves explicit diagnosis. After all, a patient has the right to know. But the label “schizophrenia” is often toxic for those who acquire it. It creates not only what Erving Goffman called a “spoiled identity” but also an identity framed in opposition to the broader social world. This chapter illustrates this challenge through the life of a man who struggles with this illness.
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