Models of activity in the narratives of people with schizophrenia
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Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny
Submission date: 2020-07-06
Final revision date: 2021-08-19
Acceptance date: 2022-03-16
Online publication date: 2023-06-30
Publication date: 2023-06-30
Corresponding author
Małgorzata Chądzynska   

Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii
Psychiatr Pol 2023;57(3):547-562
This article presents an analysis of the narratives of people with schizophrenia from the perspective of descriptions of activities. The goal is to look for changes in activity models under the influence of a psychotic crisis experience.

Three fragments of auto-narratives concerning periods: prior to illness, during illness and during remission periods, were compared. These were created after psychotic crisis. The narratives of 26 people with schizophrenia about their lives and self-perception during the aforementioned periods made up the research material. Linguistics textual analysis was conducted, distinguishing the determinants of six selected models of activity relating to sense of agency and intentionality of action. Frequency analysis and multivariable methods were applied to compare the relative frequency of their occurrence in narratives.

Descriptions of activities during the illness are more strongly saturated with models of an extrinsic control site, impersonal control over action, avoidance, individual actions, states in comparison to the remission period, and in particular, descriptions of activity prior to the illness.

The results of analysis of schizophrenia patients’ narratives indicate a decreased sense of agency related to experiencing states of disorder (subjectively defined). This motivational deficit also concerns remission periods after the active phase of the illness, though to a lesser extent. Analysis of motivational models reveals differences of descriptions of own activity, indicating alterations in auto-narration and narrative identity under the influence of a psychotic crisis in a retrospective approach. These changes pertain to deep layers hidden in the relationship between the form of the narrative and its content. They indicate other images of oneself (self-positions or self-narrative voices) as a healthy, sick and in remission person – especially in terms of the perception of their own agency.

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