By Allan Hall
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Additional resources for Abuse Of Trust
1969:107) 50 LAY CONCEPTS OF EPILEPSY AND STIGMA Not surprisingly perhaps, Taylor offers no empirical backing for these views. The third view, put forward by Scambler (1983; 1984), suggests that the person with epilepsy threatens the social order in two main ways. First, he or she fails to conform to cultural norms pertaining to what Goffman calls ‘identity or being’. Goffman writes: Failure or success at maintaining such norms has a very direct effect on the psychological integrity of the individual.
Greene 1972:136–7) Schneider and Conrad cite an equally extreme reaction to the diagnosis. A woman’s parents had hidden the diagnosis from her for several months, during which time she continued to experience seizures. When she found out: I tried to commit suicide. I tried to take an overdose of the drugs I was on. I felt like some unclean spirit had walked in the door. I mean, I felt…uh, an oddball. Because nobody would communicate to me what it was about… I felt a great stigma attached to it.
A third reason for changing medication was the pressing desire to shed the status of ‘epileptic’. Continuing therapy implied continuing epilepsy, even if there had been no seizures for a number of years. Only if therapy was discontinued would it be possible to determine whether or not the diagnosis of epilepsy was still applicable. The halting of therapy, then, promised possible release from the burden of both recurrent seizures and the diagnostic label. It was such reasoning that prompted remarks like the following: I really would like to have a go at stopping them altogether, for three or four weeks, just to see what would happen.
Abuse Of Trust by Allan Hall