The topic is dysthymia. The qualitative study titled: “The self-management of longer-term depression: learning from the patient, a qualitative study”, investigates how people deal long-term with depression. The first page gives readers a brief background on depression and how it is viewed now as a long-term or chronic mental health problem (Chambers et al., 2015). Because more than half of people may suffer from at least one episode of depression after the first episode, it is important to understand how to manage depression in the long-term. “More than 50 % of people will have at least one further episode of depression after their first, and therefore it requires long-term management. However, little is known about the effectiveness of self-management in depression, in particular from patients’ perspective” (Chambers et al., 2015, p. 1).
The researchers created a study to understand what coping strategies people with long-term depression have and what options may be out there to help support self-management of the condition seeing as self-management seems to be the most common option for those with dysthymia. The qualitative study took the form of semi-structured interviews where the researchers had in-depth interviews with twenty-one participants. The results were analyzed under interpretative phenomenological analysis. Deriving meaning from the answers and then putting them under themes helps researchers using a qualitative approach understand from varied perspectives what may work and what does not regarding long-term depression.
The results demonstrated four super-ordinate themes along with various prominent sub-themes. “experience of depression, the self, the wider environment, self-management strategies…hope, confidence and motivation could be powerful agents; and how engaging in a wide range of chosen activities could contribute to their emotional, mental, physical, social, spiritual and creative wellbeing” (Chambers et al., 2015, p. 1). These themes and sub-themes help provide a clearer picture of what can be done to support self-management. Self-management relies on the hope of being able to overcome the illness, the motivation to continue doing the right things for the self, and providing one’s self with outlets to express one’s self emotionally, spiritually, and so forth.
Interestingly, the answers from the participants demonstrated that support services were not necessarily useful towards self-management. Individualized holistic models were favored among participants as they wanted more control and choice over how they managed their long-term depression. First episodes of depression were different for participants however, as then they would have wanted resources and strategies to cope with the mental illness. However, past the first episode, when it becomes a long-term problem, participants wanted more in terms of self-management strategies rather than support services.
The article provided a key understanding of what people with long-term depression need. The key themes and…