Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Christopher L. Heavey
Second Committee Member
Russell T. Hurlburt
Third Committee Member
Daniel L. Allen
Fourth Committee Member
Jennifer R. Keene
Number of Pages
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a serious, chronic mood disorder. The diagnostic criteria for BD provide a description of expected experiences of individuals with BD (e.g., sadness, expansive mood, inflated self-esteem, anhedonia). Despite these criteria, the details of inner experience of individuals with BD are generally unknown. Understanding the inner experience of individuals with BD may provide greater understanding of the lived experience of BD and may provide insights into treating BD. The present study examined the inner experience of six individuals with BD using Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES), a method aimed at apprehending high- fidelity accounts of momentary inner experience. Results revealed that our participants varied in their ability to have clear inner experience, but they had clear experiences of sensory awareness and/or inner seeing. They had a high frequency of no clear inner experience or inner experience that was unclear in some way in the moment. They also had a low frequency of the coherent experience of feelings. Lastly, four participants experienced noteworthy perceptual experiences at a higher than average frequency as compared to the inner experience of individuals without a psychiatric diagnosis. This study highlights the importance of increasing efforts to explore the inner experience of individuals diagnosed with BD and/or other mental illnesses, and the utility of the DES method for investigating these individuals’ inner experience.
Bipolar Disorder; Descriptive Experience Sampling; Inner Experience
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kang, Johanah Yoosun, "Examining the Inner Experience of Individuals with Bipolar Disorder" (2015). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 2546.
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