The experiences of university students with a mood disorder
Demery, Rachel Anne
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background and Aims: Mood disorders typically materialise in young adulthood, when many enter University. Whilst research has focused on diagnosis and treatment, few studies have examined the experiences of students with a mood disorder. Padron (2008) discussed university life with a mood disorder and stressed the role of stigma and lack of specialist support services. This study aims to expand the literature on the experiences of University students with a mood disorder, and examines recommendations for providing university based specialist support. Method: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with five participants who had direct personal experience of a Mood Disorder and were enrolled at a University. The sample was identified by purposive and snowball sampling. Thematic analysis was employed. Results: Participants described how symptoms of mood disorder affected their academic and social experiences of University. Five themes emerged from the data: Support, lmpact of Symptoms, Stigma, Inter-professional Working, and Participant Recommendations. Conclusions: Stigma and lack of information prevented students from obtaining sufficient support. The addition of a University wide Mental Health Trainer post to provide education about mental illness to students and staff is needed. A less centralised Student Support Service and improved inter-professional working with Academic Schools should be developed.
MSc Interprofessional Studies (Health)
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