Hi everybody! I'm developing an anthropological research about insomnia in Copehagen. 

 

You could help me to develop my research proposal, if you are interested in this topic, giving me some advise. It is a small work, which will last less than a mounth. The topic is really broad, so I chose to focus on the representation of insomnia in danish society: Is insomnia considered a problem of the mind or of the body? Which meaning it has for individuals who experience it, and what meaning acquires, once the sleeping disorder is healed, in a narrative story of the disease? Why people choose a particular therapy (e.g. pharmaceuticals, homeopaty, psychiatry, alternative medicine etc.)? Is the choice related to an act of identity or to an individual's hierarchy of power of the several therapies? How the point of view of the "healers"(from pharmaceutical company to pshychiatrist) differs from the point of view of the "patients", who have direct experience of the problem? In which way a sleeping disorder of the individual could affect a larger societal context?

 

This are few of the research questions that came to my mind, any advise is more than welcomed,

 

Thanks,

Francesco

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Hi Francesco.

You have chosen an extremely broad topic. If I may make a couple of suggestions (being someone who has the condition to a certain extent) I would try to break it up into smaller areas such as Medical (i.e. physical), Psychological, Environmental etc. I know mine is 95% Medical with about 5% being environmental (particular sounds/noises at home). Once you know the cause then you would discuss the therapies used and why they are used.

BTW I'm not in Denmark but Mary the Tasmanian is.
Thanks for your advice Michael
You suggest me to divide the research into smaller area, but this categorization of insomnia (e.g. Medical, Psychological, Environmental etc.) could be easily questioned, especially from the "patient"'s point of view. Actually, once an individual has experiences of insomnia, often do not know the cause, so that the therapy that he/she choose, influence the process of diagnosis and the individuation of the original cause of the sleeping disorder.

That is also the idea behind the concept of "social technologies": Problems are being formed by already imagined solutions; to be perceived as relevant the problems must first be subjected by specific understandings and descriptions to be something that can come within human range as something that can be solved, or at least eased” (Jöhncke et al. 2004: 385).

For this reasons, case of misdiagnosis of insomnia occurs very often, and sometimes individuals affected by insomnia could solve the problem with pills and drugs, but still have the feeling that the terapist did'nt find the true cause of the sleeping disorder.
That is not rare, and it is also my personal case.
Francesco Tassi said:
You suggest me to divide the research into smaller area, but this categorization of insomnia (e.g. Medical, Psychological, Environmental etc.) could be easily questioned, especially from the "patient"'s point of view. Actually, once an individual has experiences of insomnia, often do not know the cause, so that the therapy that he/she choose, influence the process of diagnosis and the individuation of the original cause of the sleeping disorder.
I realise that not everyone knows the root cause of their condition but for those of us that do the added information can be quite interesting. The categorisations I offered are but a small sample. They work in my case I know they won't work in others, it is up to you to find the categories people fit into.
Certain drugs are, without a doubt, used in psychological cases, others are used in other cases. If you find what the medication is and what it is used for you will be able to see what the therapist is thinking. This is a process of elimination.

Francesco Tassi said:
For this reasons, case of misdiagnosis of insomnia occurs very often, and sometimes individuals affected by insomnia could solve the problem with pills and drugs, but still have the feeling that the terapist did'nt find the true cause of the sleeping disorder.
That is not rare, and it is also my personal case.
I fail to see how the problem could be solved if we don't know what the problem actually is. It can certainly be alleviated/masked, but solved?
If the individual feels the therapist didn't find the real cause you could try to ascertain what the individual believes it to be. In your case, for example, you are indicating your therapist hasn't figured it out yet. So what is your personal feeling of the cause? You, and I in my case and others in their case, are with yourself 24 hours a day what patterns are you seeing? There can be more than 1 or even 2 root causes.
You have an interesting topic. If I were to write a paper on the same topic, I would title it with "Insomnia and Insomniacs: Cyber Space and Virtual Sociality." I would be interested how insomniacs appropriate their insomnia not as a disease but as a time-space issue. I would check if cyber pornography, electronic gaming, and even web surfing are used by insomniacs to redefine time, space, and insomnia itself.
Darn, I thought you were asking for people who suffer insomnia (which happens to me when my husband is away on business). Oh well !

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