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An Existential Case Study of Madness: Encounters with Divine Affliction.pdf

Author: Scott Kiser

This article presents an existential case study of a psychotic episode that the author experienced, focusing particularly on a phenomenological description of the actual process of psychic breakdown and subsequent recovery.

The presentation is a first-person narrative account, followed by an existential analysis of the experience’s value in terms of transformation and meaning creation, as well as a discussion of the existentialist sources in philosophy, psychology, and literature, that have contributed significantly to the author’s psycho-spiritual development.

Primary importance is placed on depicting this process as an empowering source of meaning formation as well as a spiritually transformative experience. The experience of psychosis is thus portrayed as a crisis of meaning in which the individual is challenged to reestablish an ontological ground and integrated sense of self through the recreation and deepening of personal existence.

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