Representations of hallucinations and dissociation in young adult literature: using literature to challenge stigma about psychosis
This paper explores the role that sensitively portrayed literary representations of hallucinations and dissociation may have in counteracting stigma associated with these experiences. In it, we focus on narratives of young people experiencing hallucinatory and dissociative phenomena in two award-winning, young adult novels: How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. We identify and discuss three literary devices in these two novels that promote empathy for the characters and their experiences. The narrative accounts in both novels challenge conceptions of hallucinations and dissociation as unknowable and unrelatable experiences with their empathic portrayals of relatable characters that create comprehensible accounts of adolescents grappling with their sense of reality. Importantly, they highlight the potential role that literature can play in stigma reduction by positively shaping young peoples' understandings of unfamiliar mental health experiences.
RCSI Research Summer Studentship
European Research Council Consolidator Award (iHEAR 724809)
Psychosis Ireland Collaborative Doctoral Award programme from the Health Research Board (PSI-STAR CDA-2021-005)
CommentsThe original article is available at https://www.cambridge.org/
Published Citationda Cunha Koch C, Coughlan H, Cannon M. Representations of hallucinations and dissociation in young adult literature: using literature to challenge stigma about psychosis. Ir J Psychol Med. 2022:1-7.
Publication Date3 October 2022
- Undergraduate Research
PublisherCambridge University Press
- Published Version (Version of Record)