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Diabetes (in childhood) and development: what can psychodynamic theory tell us about the relationship between illness and the development of identity and behaviour? Introduction In recent years, sociological and behavioural interest in studies relating to the relationship between illness and identity has been very much apparent…
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Download file to see previous pages The important element in this study is on illness and identity and how researchers have now considered identity as a function of illness, with one’s identity causing changes resulting from various diseases or conditions. This perception has been based on sociologists discussing how illness is founded on identity interruptions. Studies have also highlighted how individuals often seek to protect their sense of self due to their illness. In the year 2011, the International Diabetes Foundation estimated that there were about 500,000 children who were suffering from diabetes. This disease has become a major global health issue with children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes requiring lifetime treatment for the disease and being at great risk for the complications of the disease. In the years before the disease was considered a curable disease, not many children diagnosed with the disease lived more than two years past their point of diagnosis (Marks, 1965). At present, with the discovery of insulin which is the primary culprit for diabetes mortality, some changes and improvements in management have been implemented (Hanas,, 2009). Various organizations and pharmaceutical companies have also secured campaigns in order to improve the accessibility of insulin, and in general, there has been a significant increase in the availability of insulin in the health services delivery (Craig,, 2009). The possible stigma related to type 1 diabetes is an issue which is making the situation worse for diabetic children. Such stigma has been known to cause a lower psychological wellness and physical well-being, including a decreased health seeking behaviour (IDF, 2011). Inequitable treatment and reduced quality in treatment has also emerged due to such stigma. With type 1 diabetic children requiring lifelong treatment and awareness, issues relating to complications and a decreased quality of treatment have been seen as a major issue (Otterson and Borte, 2012). Families of these children also have to confront the stigma which can also cause issues in family relations. Studies considering and evaluating this issue shall now be considered in this study. The aim of this study is to evaluate the psychodynamic theory as it helps provide a link between illness and the development of the child with diabetes. The stigma which is often seen with diabetes sufferers can be different based on various settings, depending on social constructs. The stigma felt by diabetic children usually impacts and distorts on these children’s sense of self The psychodynamic theory is a field of study focusing on the relationship of different parts of the mind, the personality, and the psyche referring to mental or emotional forces, especially within the unconscious levels (Freud, 1923). The mental elements within this theory are usually grouped into two: the relations of the emotional and motivational elements which impact on behaviour and mental states; and the inner elements impacting on behaviour which includes the emotional and motivational elements which affect actions and thoughts. Freud discussed that psychological energy is in a constant state and it usually rested with discharge (Robertson and Combs, 1995). In relation to mate selection in the psychological setting, psychodynamics relates to the evaluation of forces, motivations, and energy caused by specific and in-depth human needs (Klimek, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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