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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Our present study was a qualitative investigation intending to explore the emotional journey of wives whose spouse has been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder, using a phenomenological de. Semi-structured face to face interviews were conducted with 5 wives of already diagnosed Bipolar I Disorder patients to uncover their lived experience in terms of the emotional journey they had had. Moreover, for data verification we employed the strategies of frequent debriefing sessions peer review and member checks.
Our analysis revealed six major themes encapsulating the participants emotional journey. It became clear to us that wives of individuals diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder are on a continuous emotional journey dealing with the burden, stress, complications, uncertainty and making many sacrifices along the way. Our study highlighted many culture specific factors of the phenomenon. This insightful exploration has opened up new horizons to conceptualize the challenges of wives dealing with an ailing spouse in the context of a Pakistani society.
Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness that is prevalent in 1 to 3.
The onset of Bipolar Disorder usually takes place in late adolescence or early adulthood. Fifty percent of the cases start before age 25 Kessler et al. Numerous impairments in school, occupation and social functioning are seen in patients even in a remission phase Ball et al. Bipolar Disorder tends to erode the quality of almost every interpersonal relationship of the patient, and marriage seems to be no exception. Being and staying in a relationship with someone diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is a great challenge. The conflict in these marriages is much higher than in others.
Spouses carry with them persistent emotional pressure every day, building an emotional vacuum in which they find themselves continuously trapped.
For many spouses the emotional impact comes in the face of helplessness, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, hypervigilance, resentment and fear of relapses and the future ahead Granek et al. This emotional vacuum travels and surfaces for the spouse as anger, grief, frustration etc. This volatility in the relationship le to many contemplating on and many a times even getting divorced Granek et al.
However, in the Pakistani society, getting divorced or even separated is not an easy option to go with especially for a woman. The concept of divorce still remains a taboo and is not an acceptable option by most of the society no matter the problems in the marriage. Women are expected to stay in stressful conditions, compromise and not Lonely married wives about divorce Shamsi, Thus, most of the women even when faces with tremendous difficulties in a marriage be it incompatibility with spouse, abuse or the spouse being mentally or physically ill, ends up staying stuck in marriages.
Having children, no financial stability, unsupportive families and society at large etc. This phenomenological study utilized a qualitative research methodology to explore the emotional journey the wives whose spouse have been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder have lived through.
A marital relationship can be a critical health resource for adults. Being married typically is expected to lead to greater availability of emotional social support, meaning and purpose in life, and social control Umberson, However, any of things, from work stress to money issues, can lead to arguments and put strain on a marriage.
But when one partner has bipolar disorder, simple stressors can reach epic proportions. The patient themselves face emotions including shame, sadness and self-doubt Granek et al. Side by side, the disorder poses way more challenges for the spouse. Although there is an abundance of literature that addresses issues associated with family members of persons with severe mental illness, the literature concerning the effect of bipolar disorder on their spouses is extremely limited Lonely married wives et al.
Also the available literature have all been carried out in the West where moving out of a marriage or a relationship is comparatively easier and acceptable. Therefore, due to the different marital relationship dynamics as shaped by the Pakistani culture, there is a need to deeply explore the emotional journey of spouses of Bipolar I Disorder patients in order to capture the richness of the issues posed by a chronic and debilitating condition of bipolar disorder and the challenges this condition imply on the institution of marriage, which forms the basic social unit in the Pakistani society.
Thus, the present study aimed to understand the emotional journey of wives whose husband has been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder using a qualitative approach. The objective of this study was to gain an increased understanding of how does living with a husband having Bipolar Disorder emotionally impacts the spouse. The answer for the following question was explored from the perspective of the wife.
What is the perception and experience of living with a spouse diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder? If yes, in what way? Criterion sampling works best when all participants studied are representative of individuals who have experienced the phenomenon Creswell, Participants who were living with a spouse diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder were included.
The couples should be married for at least 4 years and have at least 1. The patient must have been diagnosed with having Bipolar I Disorder prior to getting married. All patients will be receiving Lonely married wives kind of treatment Lonely married wives medical or therapy. The participant had to be able to understand the letter of information and be willing to provide consent. The participant had to be willing to participate in at least two semi-structured interviews discussing her marriage and family. It was the diagnosis of a major mental illness for spouses. Spouses who have reached a formal diagnosis of a mental disorder before marriage were also excluded.
If this was the second marriage for either of the spouse, it led to the exclusion of that participant from the study. Those who were separated, divorced or whose spouse has died were also excluded. Our study underwent an ethics approval by the Independent Departmental Doctoral Program Committee of our department that is responsible for evaluating the ethics and methodology of any research being carried there. After receiving ethical and methodological approval for the current research we, developed two paper instruments for the purposes of this study, a socio-demographic questionnaire and a semi-structured interview protocol.
For the development of the interview protocol, the literature and theories on the current topic were consulted. They were used as the driving force in the formulation of the interview protocol. This was then followed by the scrutiny of the interview protocol by 5 professionals 3 working clinical psychologists and 2 experienced academicians in the field.
The suggestions and recommendations given by them were duly noted and incorporated.
Then permission was sought from the he of all hospitals, from which the sample was to be obtained. Reminders were repeatedly given to the respected professionals through personal visits and telephone calls. Side by side, we also distributed flyers explaining our research and the criteria of our sample to our contacts including colleagues, peers, students, relatives etc. These flyers were also posted on different social media bipolar support groups. We ended up recruiting, 5 participants who consented and also met the study criteria and were then interviewed for the study.
Amongst them, 2 were recruited from the OPD of a local hospital, 2 participants were referred by our colleagues while the last one came forward after coming across our study flyer on Lonely married wives social media group. Prior to the interview, an informed consent form was duly ed. All interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide by a single interviewer. Initially, study participants were inquired about their history upbringing, interests, education, etc.
As we proceeded with the interview, follow-up questions were asked in order to Lonely married wives more details with respect to their experiences. Interviews were audiotaped with a digital recorder. The time duration of all the interviews ranged from approximately 60—90 minutes. All participants were contacted a second time for some additional information. All the interviews were carried out in Urdu language as all the participants were fluent at that.
Each recorded interview was then transcribed, removing all identifiable information from the transcripts. In addition to the use of semi-structured interviews, we also penned down our personal reflections after each interview and incorporated them in the analysis. These notes helped us to add context to my transcribed data and they also reflected our vigilance and alertness during the interview. All the data was sorted in a file that included the informed consent, the socio-demographic questionnaire, the verified transcripts and my personal reflections for each participant.
It was then secured in a locked filling cabinet with no identifying data included in it. Each file was maintained under codenames only to ensure confidentiality. Two of them had completed their intermediate degree, two had a graduation degree while the last one had done MBA. Apart from one participant who resided in a nuclear family setup, the rest lived in a t family system. The marriage of all the participants was an arranged one.
Participants were married for a minimum of 4 years and a Lonely married wives of 7 years and had at least 1 child from the marriage. None of the participants have ever been married before nor did anyone suffered from any mental disorder. We analysed the data by employing the steps outlined by Hycner Groenewald, Extracting general and unique themes from all the interviews and making a composite summary.
This step involved getting closer to the original data from the participants. We read the transcribed interviews repeatedly and took initial notes and developed a rough coding procedure for each interview. Next, we derived units of meanings for each participant by extracting all the ificant statements that explained the lived experience of the participant. Each and every statement is of great value in phenomenology, so we treated each statement as having equal value and then read and re-read the data to ensure that no ificant statement is missed out and we listed down all these statements separately and eliminated redundant and repetitive statements.
After rigorous examination of the units of meanings, themes were generated by combining the units of meanings and a summary that incorporated all the themes from the data was developed. This summary was validated from the participant and modified if required. If substantial differences were present, clustering of common themes was carefully avoided. These themes were finalized after getting three peer reviews feedback discussed ahead from practicing clinical psychologists, with a clinical experience of at least 5 years with 2 of them having experience of conducting qualitative enquiry as well.
The explicitation process was concluding in the result section which reflects the context from which the themes emerged. The credibility of qualitative research is frequently questioned, perhaps because the concepts of reliability and validity are not catered in the same way as in a quantitative research. Therefore, strategies such as frequent Lonely married wives sessions. Peer review and member checks Shenton, were employed. Five wives living with a spouse diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder were interviewed for this study.
After analysing the data, the following themes emerged from this research study: Shock, Betrayal and the Incomprehensible, Apprehensions and Uncertainty, Anger and Irritability, Loneliness and Helplessness, Compassion and Acceptance and Reconciliation. The journey of each participant seemed like a roller coaster ride of emotions going up and down the tracks and impacting each participant emotionally in their own way. Many seemed unable to comprehend what is happening while many felt betrayed at the hands of their in-laws or their husband.
They did not understand what was happening, or what to do. He had all this even before marriage and I got to know about it afterwards. When I got to know I used to cry a lot, thinking that someone should have taken us into confidence. And I love my husband a lot, and he also really loves me so I kept thinking that at least he should have shared this with me.
I was in great shock and used to stay really sad. So betrayal it was … we also had a fight over it, I fought a lot … I really felt like someone had deceived me big time. I felt really bad then, I got really sad and my mom too.Lonely married wives
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