'Schizophrenia is a dirty word': Service users' experiences of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia
Tickle, Anna C.
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Aims and method To explore service users' experiences of receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia and the stigma associated with the diagnostic label. Seven participants were interviewed about their perceptions of these experiences. Interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results Five superordinate themes resulted from the analysis: (1) avoidance of the diagnosis of schizophrenia; (2) stigma and diagnostic labels; (3) lack of understanding of schizophrenia; (4) managing stigma to maintain normality; (5) being 'schizophrenic'. These, together with their subthemes, highlighted avoidance of the term schizophrenia by participants and use of alternative terms by professionals, which limited opportunities for understanding the label and challenging associated stigma. Participants strived to maintain normality despite potential stigma. Clinical implications There is a need to address the process of giving a diagnosis as a phenomenon of consequence within its own terms. Implications relate to how professionals deliver and discuss the diagnosis of schizophrenia.;