Friday, April 30, 2010

A Phenomenological Study

In the Phenomenological Study about "Cognitive Representations of AIDS" by Elizabeth H. Anderson and Margaret Hull Spencer, the authors address a heart wrenching topic. How do people that are infected with the AIDS cope with having that disease? For many, the disease will lead to death so they must come to terms with that.
Most people view death as an event that will happen in the unforeseen future. They can put it in the back of their mind and not think about it. This happens so often in society that if someone is preoccupied with death, they might be seen as being mentally ill or mentally unstable.
Unfortunately, people suffering from AIDS must deal with this difficult topic head on. As the author point out, their responses range from being traumatized to the realization that their life is being devoured.
The authors say, "With the diagnosis of AIDS, dreams of marrying, having children, or working were no longer perceived as possible. The impact on each one's life was measured differently from loss of ability to work to loss of children, family, possessions, and sense of oneself. The thought of leaving children, family, and friends was extremely difficult but considered a reality."
The authors have done a great service to study such a difficult topic. Hopefully, their research will help people cope with an unpleasant situation. They can help shed light on ways to give people hope.

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