Bipolar disorder in the network: The construction of the diagnosis in an online group

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Abstract

This article addresses the meanings and sociabilities that a Facebook group about bipolar disorder has produced on this diagnostic, through an online ethnography. Along with the growing penetration of psychiatric references in culture, bipolarity has been spreading through media such as the internet and participating in the ways many people interpret and feel their emotional oscillations. The ethnography sought to investigate the effects of diagnosis on self-understanding, the tones in which participants talk about it, treatments and conceptions about nature/causes of bipolarity addressed, etc. The ten most commented publications of the group in one month were analyzed and, based on the thematic axes identified, the following results were reached: most publications talk about painful experiences, placing bipolarity as an obstacle to be circumvented; endorsement and mutual identification by diagnosis are frequent in the group, encouraging companionship; medicines are the privileged resource in the treatment of the disorder, which is seen as incurable, but amenable to regulation; the cultivation of positive thoughts and attitudes are some of the strategies used to overcome difficult phases, showing a pragmatic attitude towards psychic suffering; bipolarity is defined as an entity external to personality.

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Corrêa, L. M., & Lima, R. C. (2018). Bipolar disorder in the network: The construction of the diagnosis in an online group. Physis, 28(4). https://doi.org/10.1590/s0103-73312018280406

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