Intimate citizenship and mental ill health: Informal carers’ accounts of romantic relationship difficulties of people with mental health problems

Date

2020-09-14

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1363-4607

Volume Title

Publisher

Sage

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

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.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

informal carers, intimate citizenship, mental health

Citation

Brown, B. (2020) Intimate citizenship and mental ill health: Informal carers’ accounts of romantic relationship difficulties of people with mental health problems, Sexualities,

Rights

Research Institute

Mary Seacole Research Centre