Health as a movement between suffering of life and meaning in life for men who have experienced transitions in life

Camilla Koskinen*, Linda Nyholm, Kari Marie Thorkildsen, Britt Marit Haga, Gry Ciekals Wallgren, Kari Kaldestad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and Aim: Previous studies show that life transitions can have negative effects on men's lives and lead to health problems and meaninglessness in life. This study aims to deepen the understanding of men's health by exploring the movement between suffering of life and meaning in life when experienced life transitions. Theoretical Framework: The study is anchored in Eriksson's caritative caring theory. Core concepts are health and the movement between suffering of life and meaning in life. Methodology and Methods: The methodology is hermeneutical, and the study has a qualitative research design. Fifteen men from Norway participated in in-depth interviews in 2021. The interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: Four themes emerged in relation to the suffering of life; enduring separation from community, shame at being useless as a human being, grief over what has been lost in life, and being powerless and vulnerable in the face of a hopeless struggle. Three themes emerged in relation to meaning in life; realising what is most important in one's life gives strength, decision to live one's life brings joy in life and a positive attitude towards life gives freedom and awakens a new spark for life. Conclusion: Suffering of life emerges as a separation from relationships and society and as a perceived uselessness as a human being losing faith, control and feeling like a burden erodes dignity and trigger feelings of shame, guilt and degradation. Suffering of life manifests as loss of drive and spark for life. Life has meaning through finding the good in oneself, coming to know and believe in oneself and seeing new possibilities which bring about a spark for life, gratitude, dignity and freedom. Health exists in the movement between suffering of life and meaning in life, in pausing, recognising vulnerability, prioritising and reorienting oneself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-739
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • caring science
  • in-depth interviews
  • life transitions
  • meaning in life
  • men
  • suffering of life
  • thematic analysis

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