View from a Body: Situating the Lived Experience of Painful Obsessions and Compulsions
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Painful obsessions and compulsions have been traditionally consigned to the realm of mental illness. However, an investigation into the lived experience of these tendencies demonstrates that they constitute embodied forms of suffering. Using anthropological and phenomenological insights, I demonstrate how painful obsessions and compulsions exceed categorization as a mental disorder. As someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, I use my autoethnographic authority, partnered with ethnographic data, to emphasize the ways in which painful obsessions and compulsions are embodied within the lifeworlds of sufferers. Thus, I argue for a re-conceptualization of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and I insist upon a radical transformation of best-practice treatments to more adequately and compassionately account for these embodied forms of suffering. Importantly, this approach provides a means to alter the role of the sufferer from being a mere object of research, to an active and engaged agent of research.
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Erin Van Der Meulen (2017). View from a Body: Situating the Lived Experience of Painful Obsessions and Compulsions. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11200