Att leva som utbränd - En etnologisk studie av långtidssjukskrivna
Sammanfattning: THIS STUDY IS CONCERNED with burnout and long-term sick leave, although instead of looking for several explanatory models and trying to answer the question as to why people are affected by this syndrome, the study is instead based on the idea of illness as experience. The methodology is traditionally ethnological, but with a phenomenological slant. The author makes use of an empirical material consisting largely of participant observations and field diaries in an attempt to get closer to the people, things and places being studied. The public image of burnout is also analysed by way of the establishment of the phenomenon in the Swedish press. You could say that illness occurs and takes place in everyday life. For the person affected, illness is something that they both adjust to and constantly relate to. It not only impacts the relationship to one’s own identity and to other people, but also to places and things. The aim of the thesis is to study burnout and long-term sick leave in an attempt to understand how these combined phenomena affect life and how they can serve as places for gaining new insights. The central question relates to how the experience of mental ill-health and long-term sick leave affects a person’s life, or, perhaps more to the point, what the person does with this experience. Not only is the in-built exclusion and isolation of burnout and long-term sick leave analysed in detail, but also the hidden potential that a new kind of freedom can mean during recovery. For some, being on sick leave seems to imply some kind of transcendence. Burnout and the resulting long-term sick leave force those affected to reflect, rediscover their slumbering powers and their forgotten dreams and finally discover new pathways. The person climbing out of sick leave is not the same as the one who stepped into it.
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