2002 issue 1

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Volume 11, issue 1

Original papers

The subjective experience of illness in male and female patients with endogenous depression

KATARZYNA NOWAK1
1. Zakład Psychologii Klinicznej Dorosłych Instytutu Psychologii Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego w Lublinie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2002, l l, 45-53
Keywords: depression, experience of ilłness, sełf-rating

Abstract

The experience of mental illness has many important consequences in various spheres of human life. Depression disturbs the patient's functioning in various dimensions - cognitive, affective, behavioural and social. Research conducted in depressive patients indicates that the clinical patters of depression is not homogeneous and that gender is an important differentiating jactor in this respect. In the study an attempt was made to check whether małe andjemale patients differ in their self-rating oj subjectively experienced symptoms. Participants in the study were 68 patients (32 males and 36 females) hospitalised for endogenous depression. The Adjective Checklist (ACL) by H.G.Gough and A.B. Heilbrun was used to assess the patients' past and present self-image, in order to find out in which areas of personał functioning there were genderrelated changes reflecring the extent and degree of the subjective experience of illness. Moreover, a structured clinical interview "My Experience of Illness" (MEJ) { /2] with items concerning the subjective experience and self-rating of depression was carried oąt. Obtained results suggest that in the group ofpatients with endogenous depression males significantly differed jrom females in their subjective experience and self rating of depression. The differences affect the patients' cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social fu.nctioning. These genderrelated differences should be taken into account in therapeutic interventions.

Address for correspondence:
Adres: Mgr Katarzyna Nowak, ul. Pośrednia 29m. 20, 26-600 Radom,
e-mail: pnowak@radom.net.pl