Intimate citizenship and mental ill health: Informal carers’ accounts of romantic relationship difficulties of people with mental health problems
In this paper I take a relational approach to understanding the experiences of carers in enabling the ‘intimate citizenship’ of people with long-term mental health problems. This aspect of informal care has received little attention, yet the relational context in which intimacy occurs is important as a background to the more frequently addressed questions of sex and sexuality themselves. Thirty-one carers were asked about their experience of caring. Of those who were partners or spouses of the person cared for, a sense of diminished erotic capital and romantic potential appeared common. For those caring for a relative, there was a sense that their romantic opportunities were restricted and rendered risky by their mental health problems. The interviews suggest substantial relational activity is undertaken to make intimate life possible, which is an important area of investigation if we are to appreciate the barriers to sexual participation of people with mental health problems.
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Citation : Brown, B. (2020) Intimate citizenship and mental ill health: Informal carers’ accounts of romantic relationship difficulties of people with mental health problems, Sexualities,
ISSN : 1363-4607
Research Institute : Mary Seacole Research Centre
Peer Reviewed : Yes