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Our Most Troubling MadnessCase Studies in Schizophrenia Across Cultures$
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T.M. Luhrmann and Jocelyn Marrow

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291089

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291089.001.0001

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I’m Schizophrenic!”

I’m Schizophrenic!”

How Diagnosis Can Change Identity in the United States

Chapter:
(p.27) Case 1I’m Schizophrenic!”
Source:
Our Most Troubling Madness
Author(s):

T. M. Luhrmann

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520291089.003.0002

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.

Keywords:   Diagnosis, United States, Schizophrenia, Labelling, Identity

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