Living an unstable everyday life while attempting to perform normality – the meaning of living as an alcohol-dependent woman

Anna Thurang, Anita Bengtsson Tops

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

    15 Citeringar (Scopus)


    Aims and objectives To illuminate the meaning of living with alcohol dependency as a woman. Background The number of women suffering from alcohol dependency is increasing. Today there are shortcomings in knowledge about the lived experiences of being a woman with alcohol dependency; knowledge which might be of importance for meeting these women's specific needs of care. Design The study has a qualitative design. Fourteen women with alcohol dependency participated in open in-depth interviews. Method Data were analysed according to a phenomenological-hermeneutic method, and interpreted by help from gender and caring perspectives as well as results from previous research of alcohol dependency. Results In relation to the women's senses of well-being, four main gender formations were found; An unstable self involving continual and rapid swings between emotional and bodily reactions. Ambivalence – meaning ambiguous feelings towards themselves as human beings and how they lead their lives. Introspectiveness – involving reflections, pondering and being introverted. Attempts to perform normality – covering – dealing with life through various strategies and facades to live up to the expectations of how to behave as a woman. Conclusion Living with alcohol dependency as a woman constitutes of a rapid shifting everyday life resulting in senses of alienation as well as private introspection leading to self-degradation, and to a lesser extent meaningfulness and hope. It also constitutes of managing to perform normality. Relevance to clinical practice When supporting women with alcohol dependency towards wellbeing, professionals need to work towards approaching the woman's inner thoughts, share them and reflect over them together. To support these women to find balance in life, caregivers need to cooperate with the women to find out how best to live a life adjusted to the woman's abilities and wishes.

    Sidor (från-till)423-433
    Antal sidor10
    TidskriftJournal of Clinical Nursing
    StatusPublicerad - 2013

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