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Constructions of the self in interaction with the Beck Depression Inventory

[journal article]

Galasiński, Dariusz

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Abstract In this article, I am interested in discourses of people completing the Polish version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). I focus upon the negotiation of the spaces for constructing the self opened by the BDI. My corpus consists of transcripts of 50 sessions in which self-reportedly healthy people were asked to `think aloud' while completing the BDI. I shall demonstrate that in interactions with the `depression scale', the informants mostly rejected the spaces offered by it. Three strategies of such rejection are discussed: reformulation, recontextualization and an explicit challenge to the categories offered by the BDI. I shall argue that the concerns of lived experience in a particular context, when not subdued by the relationship of power in the situation of medical examination, overrule the frame imposed by the a-contextual questionnaire of sadness. Insight into depression or its intensity offered by `context-free' psychological or psychiatric instrument, set outside lived experience, is extremely problematic.
Keywords BDI; depression
Free Keywords discourse; experience; psychiatric tests; psychiatry;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 515-533
Journal Health, 12 (2008) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)