Madhouse and the whole thing there

Clarke, Simon (2018). Madhouse and the whole thing there. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 15(2-3) pp. 247–259.



This article presents an autoethnography in the form of a short story of the experiences of a mental breakdown, and subsequent involuntary detainment, alongside the experiences of conducting PhD research outside the mainstream of the discipline of psychology. In response to criticisms of narrative approaches that they are methodologically solipsistic and present a socially atomised self, this narrative combines patient medical records with narrative recollections and reflections on the research process from a contemporary perspective. In doing so, the narrative explores and interrogates themes relevant to creative practice in psychological research, including the notion of authenticity, methodological issues of researching personal experience, the problem of subjectivity and, ultimately, the nature of madness and psychological distress, including its nonlinearity and otherness.

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