Self-care strategies for emotional distress among young adults in Catalonia: A qualitative study

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Background: Emotional distress is common in adolescence, and self-care strategies are frequently preferred to address it. The aim of this article is to analyze the self-care strategies among adolescents and young people diagnosed with depression or with self-perceived depressive distress in Catalonia using a qualitative design. Methods: We analyzed the self-care strategies of 105 young people (17-21 years of age) in Catalonia who had participated in a national survey on adolescents. The sample was divided into thirds, with 37 who had a previous diagnosis of depression, 33 who had self-perceived emotional distress, and 35 controls. The participants' narratives on self-care strategies for emotional distress were elicited through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The data were managed using ATLAS-Ti 6.5 software18. We applied hermeneutic theory and the ethnographic method to analyze the interviews. Results: The ten self-care strategies identified in the analysis were grouped into four areas covering the various pathways the young people followed according to whether they had a diagnosis of depression or their depressive distress was self-perceived. The young people feel responsible for their emotional distress and consider that they are capable of resolving it through their own resources. Their strategies ranged from their individuality to sociability expressed through their relationships with others, membership of groups or other self-care strategies (relaxation, meditation, naturopathy, etc.). Conclusions: The study results highlight the importance of sensitivity in considering young people's self-care strategies as another option in the care of emotional distress.




Martorell-Poveda, M. A., Martinez-Hernáez, A., Carceller-Maicas, N., & Correa-Urquiza, M. (2015). Self-care strategies for emotional distress among young adults in Catalonia: A qualitative study. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 9(1).

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